SME banking undertakings review

The CMA reviewed the behavioural undertakings given by 9 banks in relation to small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) banking in 2002 and 2003.

Case timetable

Date Action
August 2016 Final decision and notices of intention to release certain undertakings published
17 May 2016 Provisional decision published
End July 2015 Deadline for all parties’ submissions before provisional decision on review of undertaking(s) is published
6 November 2014 Publication of CMA board decision to review 2002 SME undertakings

Review of undertakings

Date of referral: 06.11.2014



Final decision

Responses to provisional decision

Further responses to this consultation have been published alongside responses to the retail banking market investigation provisional decision on remedies on the retail banking case page. Individual responses to the NI PCA Order can be found on its case page.

Provisional decision

NI PCA Banking Market Investigation Order review

28 August 2015: The CMA has decided to open a review into the Northern Ireland Personal Current Account Banking Market Investigation Order 2008.

Review of undertakings group appointed

12 November 2014: The CMA has appointed the group for the review of undertakings.

Alasdair Smith (Chair), Tom Hoehn, Philip Marsden, Jill May, and Ed Smith.

Case opened

Press release: Personal current account and small business banking face full competition investigation (06.11.14)

The CMA is also investigating the supply of personal current accounts (PCAs) and of banking services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

This review will be conducted alongside the market investigation by a group composed of the same panel members as those conducting the market investigation.

Initial assessment

Decision to undertake review of undertakings

6 November 2014: Following a consultation, the CMA has decided to undertake a formal review of the SME banking behavioural undertakings given by 9 1 clearing banks in 2002 and 2003. The review will be carried out alongside the retail banking market investigation.

Compliance with the SME banking behavioural undertakings

22 October 2014: After receiving internal audit reports from each of the banks subject to the undertakings and carefully considering these, the CMA issued First Trust Bank and HSBC with written directions. The directions will help ensure they comply with existing obligations relating to banking services for SMEs.

Core documents and news releases

  1. Nine banks originally provided undertakings in 2002 and 2003. These were: AIB Group (UK) plc (known as First Trust Bank); Bank of Ireland; Barclays Bank plc; Clydesdale Bank PLC; HBOS plc (now part of Lloyds Banking Group); HSBC Bank plc; Lloyds TSB Bank plc (now part of Lloyds Banking Group); Northern Bank Limited (now known as Danske Bank); and The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (which also includes Ulster Bank Ltd in Northern Ireland). The 9 banks became 8 following the acquisition of HBOS plc by Lloyds TSB plc in 2009. 

Published 28 August 2015
Last updated 14 October 2016 + show all updates
  1. Notices of release of certain of the SME undertakings published.
  2. Notices of intention to release certain undertakings published.
  3. Final decision published.
  4. Responses to provisional decision published.
  5. Provisional decision published.
  6. Timetable updated.
  7. Case timetable updated.