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UK's competition watchdog raps Barclays over SME banking practices

UK's competition watchdog raps Barclays over SME banking practices
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the trading floor of Barclays Bank at Canary Wharf in London, Britain December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson -
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(Reuters) – Britain’s competition watchdog said it had asked Barclays Plc <BARC.L> to improve the way its treats small businesses after the bank broke rules designed to protect them.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the move came after Barclays told the CMA that it had not complied with rules designed to make it easier for small businesses to switch bank accounts and access particular financial products.

Barclays did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Barclays would pay about 2000 pounds in total compensation across affected business premium account holders to reimburse them for payments they should not have had to make, the CMA said.

The CMA also said it had asked Barclays appoint an independent body to audit the bank’s compliance with rules on the treatment of business customers.

CMA said Barclays had taken steps to fix the problem, including allowing affected customers to transfer funds to and from other banks, and by changing their terms and conditions.

(Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Rachel Armstrong)

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