Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004
Written Answers - Competition Authority.
Mr. Hogan Mr. Hogan
205. Mr. Hogan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of documents that have been delivered to the Competition Authority arising from a summons to each financial institution; and when a report in respect of charges, fees and so on will be published. [5175/04]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Ms Harney: The Competition Authority is an independent statutory body with a specific role to enforce Irish competition law, something it is charged with doing primarily to protect and benefit the consumer.
I am aware that the authority is undertaking, on its own initiative, a study of competition in the  provision of banking services in the State. It is empowered to do this under section 30(1)(a) of the Competition Act 2002.
The authority's study is currently focusing on two specific market sectors, personal current accounts and SME lending, and is looking at these sectors from the perspective of barriers to entry and the degree of rivalry. As part of the study, the authority has obviously sought information and documentation from a number of banks and clearing organisations operating in Ireland.
I have no idea of how many documents have been delivered to the authority in response to such requests. It would, of course, be highly improper of me as Minister to interfere in any way with the conduct or independence of the authority's study.
It is the intention of the authority that its report will be available in the autumn.
Dáil Éireann 580 Written Answers Competition Authority.