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Press releases 2002 -

OFT sends progress report to government on bank remedies

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:

  • an account that pays interest of at least the Bank of England base rate minus 2.5% or
  • a current account free of money transmission charges or
  • a choice between the two

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.


1. Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB and the Royal Banks of Scotland Group

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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