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NMa launches study into switching barriers with regard to financial products

The Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) will investigate whether or not consumers are faced with switching barriers with regard to financial products they heavily use. Switching barriers make it harder for consumers to switch providers. For example, consumers face costs when leaving their previous provider. The NMa additionally wishes to explore whether switching barriers, if any, can be lowered.

The NMa will be looking into a number of banking products and insurances, such as mortgages and funeral insurances. Henk Don, Member of the Board of the NMa, explains: ‘High switching barriers negatively affect competition among banks and insurers, thereby affecting the quality and prices of their products and services. In addition, some consumers do not switch, yet would be better off if they did. That is why it is important that switching barriers are as low as possible.’ The NMa invites everyone to share their experiences or any other information they might have with the NMa.

This document (in Dutch) explains the scope, problem and the provisional selection of products to be investigated in this study in more detail. The reactions the NMa receives may prompt it to include additional or other products in the study. This study is carried out by the Financial Sector Monitor (MFS), a research team within the NMa that carries out economic research into competition in the financial and finance-related industries.