File - A sign is seen outside a branch of Lloyds Bank in the City London February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall
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Britain's big banks could be broken up after the country's new competition watchdog set out plans for an 18-month investigation into services for small business customers and personal accounts because of a lack of competition.Britain's big four banks, which also include Barclays and HSBC, hold 77 percent of the 65 million personal current accounts in Britain, and have 85 percent of the 3.5 million business current accounts and provide nine out of every 10 business loans, the CMA said.Lloyds shares fell 0.7 percent and Barclays and HSBC were both weaker, broadly in line with the bank sector.U.K. authorities have been trying to increase competition in business banking services for 15 years, but the CMA said concentration among the big banks had not changed much.Only 3 percent of personal current account customers switch each year and only 4 percent of small businesses change bank, the CMA said.
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