Do better by personal account customers or you'll be forced - that was the message behind a speech given by head of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
John Fingleton said competition in the banking system has not functioned well for too long, despite a string of investigations into personal banking, and that competition needed to become more focused on the needs of the customers.
He pointed out that even where interventions by competition authorities and the government have had positive effects, "progress has been too slow and incremental, and fundamental concerns remain about the competitive structure and performance of these markets."
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If banks ingore his warning, a "more radical approach" may have to be adopted, he cautioned.
The speech also pointed out that all inquiries had concluded that there is a lack of competition in the sector, which makes it difficult for customers to get their heads around the charging structure.
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