LONDON, June 24 Britain's financial regulator is talking to 25 potential new banks as part of moves to increase competition within the sector, the country's economic secretary said on Tuesday.
Lawmakers and regulators are keen to see challengers appear to break the dominance of Britain's biggest four banks - Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC - which account for more than three-quarters of lending to individuals and small businesses.
"We are trying to make sure that it is much easier to set up a new bank and to grow market share. Reforms should be as much about competition as safety and stability," Andrea Leadsom, economic secretary to the Treasury, said at a conference organised by the British Bankers' Association. (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Steve Slater)