To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of an exclusion order for regional mutual banks to allow those banks to scale up their offerings.
20 October 2021
The Government welcomes the efforts to establish regional mutual banks in the UK. The Government is also committed to seeing a highly competitive banking sector, working in the interests of all consumers and businesses across the country, and recognises the potential of regional mutual banks in achieving this goal. HM Treasury officials have been engaging with prospective mutual banks over challenges to their establishment.
The Government has the power to relax competition rules where there are exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy to do so. The Government does not use these powers lightly as under normal circumstances, a sector should be able to operate in a way that is compatible with competition law. We will consider requests for public policy exclusion orders where the exceptional and compelling reasons of public policy have been demonstrated.