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17 July 2006

Kroes: opening remarks on public hearing of retail banking sector inquiry

As you know, there are two parts to our inquiry into competition in the retail banking sector. Firstly, the payment cards industry – where we published our preliminary findings in April.

The second part of our inquiry concerns the market in core retail banking products. This means current accounts, savings deposits, and loans to consumers and small businesses. This preliminary report was published on Friday.

Our preliminary report on payment cards has already confirmed that Europe has yet to overcome the legacy of fragmented national markets.

I can give you some flavour of the sort of changes that we feel will be necessary.

  • First, we must have more competition between banks who provide card acceptance services to merchants.
  • Second, we must open up the networks to enable other service providers to join in.
  • Third, changes must be made to the pricing model.
  • Finally, we need to break down the barriers to cross-border competition.

    Full speech

  • © Graham Bishop

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