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CMA to focus on UK banking sector

The UK banking sector will be the main focus for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the country's new watchdog, according to its chairman.

David Currie told a Chatham House conference he would "assume" the CMA would be active in the banking sector and will likely be taking early action on issues flagged by the Vickers Commission, Reuters reports.

The CMA is being created by combining the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission. It takes legal form in October and will begin taking action in April 2014 with a focus on consumers, cutting costs and increasing enforcement.

One of the major changes is the fact full investigations will take up to 18 months, instead of the current 24.

Mr Currie told the news provider that competition officials have already had a lot of meetings with the other new institution, the Financial Conduct Authority, which is attempting to increase competition in the financial services sector.

MPs in the UK have been calling for a wider consumer choice and the CMA will be pivotal in providing that.

By Claire Archer