The European Commission has formally confirmed that it will begin to gather evidence on the UK Government’s plan to resolve RBS’s State aid commitment.
The plan, first announced on 17 February, would see RBS fund and deliver a series of initiatives, worth around £750 million, to boost competition in today’s UK business banking market by helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) access and benefit from greater choice in the banking services available to them.
In parallel, HM Treasury has confirmed that it will carry out a market testing exercise, running for 4 weeks from 17 April. The market testing exercise will ensure that the new package is designed so that it increases competition in the business banking market significantly and works well operationally. As part of the exercise, the Treasury will seek views from parties impacted by the new package, including challenger banks, SME business representatives, and venture capital and fintech firms. Full details of the European Commission’s evidence gathering process, including timings of the consultation and further details of the proposed package, will be announced by the European Commission in the coming weeks.
Following the consultation and market testing exercises, the final proposal will be subject to the approval of the College of Commissioners.