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High street banks to answer to Competition Commission

The largest high street banks will have to answer to the Competition Commission over their small business practices.

A questionnaire has been sent out to the four largest banks Barclays, Lloyds TSB, HSBC and RBS owned NatWest asking them detailed queries about their dealings with small business.

The big four account for 83 per cent of all small business lending. Barclays and NatWest alone lend out 47 per cent.

The survey includes some 300 questions on all aspects of small business dating back 11 years, in an effort to include a full economic cycle.

The idea for the investigation sprouts from the Cruickshank Report on banking, which made its report in March. It suggested Britain&#39s banks were overcharging small businesses by up to £5bn a year.

At the same time, other high street banks have been summoned before the Commission in a series of closed sessions to talk about their services.


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