Following its 2018 report, the FCA investigated changes due to COVID-19, the impacts of digitisation and the benefits of ring-fencing retail banks, in light of facilitating competition.
The FCA summarises its key findings as follows:
- Large banks are in a strong position but face increasing competition, in particular for PCAs (Private Current Accounts)
- Low levels of consumer engagement have historically contributed to high barriers to entry and expansion. Digital challengers have rapidly gained share in the PCA and BCA markets.
- Competition in the mortgage market has intensified, which has caused yields to come down.
- Yields on consumer credit have also fallen, particularly on un-arranged overdrafts
- Large banks did proportionately more micro-business lending under the government schemes than most other banks.
- Increased competition and innovation have improved outcomes for some consumers and small businesses but others, particularly consumers with heavy branch usage or lower balances, may have had worse outcomes.
FCA Final Report, Annexes and links to the 2018 Report: https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/multi-firm-reviews/strategic-review-retail-banking-business-models