Lord Currie - a dinner discussion

Hosted by Nabarro

May 27 2015


Almost exactly a year ago, the anti-trust activities of the OFT and the whole of the Competition Commission were folded into a shiny new, all-powerful Competition & Markets Authority, which was given an ambitious remit “to promote competition … for the benefit of consumers”.

That’s not just in financial services. Indeed, the CMA has just launched a criminal case against alleged price-fixers in the galvanized-steel tank business. It is also investigating Poundland’s proposed takeover of 99p Stores. However, financial services – and banking in particular – are firmly in its sights. We are, therefore delighted that Lord Currie, the CMA’s chairman, has agreed to come and talk to us about his work. Given the need to maintain strict independence, there are limits on what he can say about the banking market inquiry, currently underway, but he can talk more generally about:

  • CMA progress a year or so in;

  • the CMA’s ambitions for the coming year;

  • the relationship between the CMA and other sector regulators; and

  • UK business culture post-crash and post-Leveson

Prof. David Currie (as was) has had a long and distinguished career. We at the CSFI first came into contact with him when he had just been appointed Dean of what became Cass Business School, and was moving it from the Barbican to its palatial diggings on Bunhill St. He subsequently went on to be the first chairman of Ofcom, overseeing the unbundling of BT phone lines and the radical overhaul of UK broadcasting. In July 2012, he was appointed as chairman-designate of the CMA, which came into full operation in April 2014.

If the CMA does to UK banking what Ofcom did to UK telecoms and television, the financial services sector will be a very different place five years from now.