The Competition and Markets Authority has published responses by the British Bankers’ Association and around 25 individual banks to its December 2016 consultation on a draft order requiring banks to implement 17 measures designed to dramatically improve the services they provide for individuals and small businesses.

The responses are among the latest of hundreds of documents that can be accessed from ‘Retail banking market investigation’ to chart the progress of the investigation from its launch by the CMA in June, 2013.

Central to the CMA’s remedies is the requirement for banks to undertake to accelerate technological change so they can implement ‘open banking’ by early 2018.

Open banking will enable small firms and individuals to share their data securely with third parties, manage their accounts with multiple providers through a digital ‘app’, take greater control over their funds and compare products to identify those that are best meet their own requirements.

Other measures highlighted by the CMA will

  • require banks to cap their monthly unarranged overdraft charge
  • help customers avoid unarranged overdraft charges by making banks text them when they are at risk of going overdrawn
  • help customers compare the service they get from their bank with other banks

The web site also features an undertaking from Bacs Payment Services Limited to address a major concern about changing banks by improving the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) by early 2018 so it provides customers with the assurance that payments will be switched from their old accounts to their new ones.

CMA anticipates that, taken together, its 17 remedies will deliver direct benefits to customers of between £700 million and £1 billion a year.