George Osborne to reveal shake-up of SME loans

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By Sam Fleming
Banks that reject loan applications from small and medium-sized companies will be forced to refer them online to other sources of funding.  George Osborne, the chancellor, will on Wednesday confirm plans to legislate to improve SME access to finance as part of a series of measures that aim to encourage choice and competition in financial services.

The move comes as Britain struggles to boost competition in the banking sector: the four biggest banks control 85 per cent business […]

Banking sector slow to increase competition after new rules

A relaxation in the rules governing the creation of new banks is yet to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of new high street players being authorised by the City regulator.
Figures published by the Bank of England show little change in the annual approval rate for new banks since the introduction of rules last year, which mean that new banks need less capital to get started than they did in the past.
Five banks were authorised in the […]

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UK challenger banks in current accounts push

By Sharlene Goff, Financial Times Retail Banking Correspondent 
The three biggest challengers in the current account market are on track to open at least 2m accounts this year as they step up their assault on the top four high-street banks.
Current accounts have become a key battleground for banks that are trying to take a bigger share of the overall retail financial products market. They believe it is easier to sell mortgages, savings accounts and credit cards to customers if they already have a current […]

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