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Helen calls for changes to competition law to secure future of local banking

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I am furious that Barclays Bank are planning to close their local branch in Spennymoor. Local people are rightly fed up of banks deserting the high street.

This is why last month in Parliament I called on the government to change the competition laws so that banks have to act in the public interest not just their own.

It seems sensible to me that banks could share premises, which would save them money and mean that those of us who do not bank online keep this important local service.

I suggest to the Minister that we should look at changing the competition rules. It seems to me that it might be possible for some banks to share premises, which would undoubtedly enable them to save money, but they say that that would be a breach of competition legislation. That tells me that the competition legislation and the competition authority’s mandate are wrong. There should be a public interest test as well as a competition test so that the banks do what they are meant to do - serve the public.

 

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