The Consumer Protection and Markets Authority should have a statutory objective to promote competition, according to the Office of Fair Trading.
Giving evidence to the Treasury select committee last week, OFT chief executive John Fingleton said the move would be consistent with the Government’s intentions for the CPMA.
He said: “The CPMA should have a top-line objective to promote competition. In other words in setting its rules, in thinking about how it regulates the industry it should think about promoting competition. It would be consistent with the intentions of the Government that the CPMA should be a consumer and market-facing regulator.”
Fingleton has been tipped as a contender for the top job at the CPMA.
He said the merger between Lloyds and HBOS “became a juggernaut that was difficult to stop” and it was a mistake not to refer it to the Competition Commission.
He said: “We would have obviously preferred if they had used the reference to the Competition Commission. I think it was a mistake not to.”