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14 June 2002
The OFT has today sent a progress report to HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on its discussions with clearing banks.
In March this year the Government published the Competition Commission's report on banking services to small and medium sized enterprises and asked the OFT to obtain undertakings from the banks to implement the remedies set out in the report, and to report back on progress by 14 June.
The remedies will require the four largest clearing banks (see note 1) to offer any SME customer operating a current account in England and Wales one of the following:
As well as setting out progress in obtaining these undertakings, the progress report indicates the extent to which the eight main banks (see note 2) have agreed in principle to the other undertakings, requested by the Government.
2. Barclays Bank, Bank of Ireland, Bank of Scotland, AIB Group (trading in Northern Ireland as First Trust), HSBC, Lloyds TSB, National Australia Bank (through its subsidiaries Clydesdale Bank and Northern Bank) and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group.
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