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March 24, 2015

British banks call for level playing field against tech majors

BBA is concerned about customer protection.

By CBR Staff Writer

The British Bankers’ Association has called for a change in regulation for tech companies offering banking services.

BBA wants tech companies to be regulated in a similar way as banks are regulated in order to protect its consumers.

Recently tech giants including Apple, Google and most recently Facebook, have jumped on the payment services bandwagon, emerging as challengers to the banks.

A report by the BBA and management consultants Accenture said that the digital revolution will be a challenge for regulators and banks.

It added: "They will need to ensure that they do not damage consumer protection, the fight against crime or financial stability by squeezing misconduct or prudential risk out of the regulated banking sector into the non-regulated digital sector."

BBA CEO Anthony Browne said: "This is a tipping point for the banking world. On the one hand this is a time of great opportunity for our industry, as new types of technology allow us to serve our customers better and more efficiently than ever before.

"But this change poses challenges too. Technology is breaking down the traditional banking model and new entrants are changing our perceptions about what we consider a bank to be.

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"More choice is good news for all, but it’s vital that regulators provide a level playing field giving customers the same robust protection wherever they choose to bank."

According to the publication, the number of bank customers using mobile devices to avail services has surged up to 27% in 2014, a huge leap when compared to the 8% in 2010.

It also highlighted that customers of British banks transfer more than £1.7bn ($2.5bn) a week via mobile devices.

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