The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has today announced proposed reforms to the way it conducts market investigations. This follows the CMA’s recent experience of two major investigations into energy and retail banking markets.
The reforms are intended to streamline and improve the effectiveness of future investigations. One of the main proposals is to begin assessing potential remedies at an earlier stage in an investigation.
The reforms are in line with the proposals Lloyds Bank Group (LBG) made at the outset of the Retail Banking Investigation, during which LBG argued strongly for early trialling and remedy design to deliver effective change to a market. LBG noted that the Financial Conduct Authority had found past interventions into banking, such as the Office of Fair Trading’s requirements for annual statements, had not had the desired or intended effects on customer behaviour. LBG maintained that early trialling may have led to improvements or better alternative remedies.
Frontier advised LBG during the Retail Banking Investigation.
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