§ Mr. Chidgey
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effect on competition in the banking service sector of the break-up of the Link network. 
§ Dr. Howells
[holding answer 8 February 2000]: In the first instance, it is a matter for the Director General of Fair Trading (DGFT) to consider the competition effects of changes to the LINK agreement. After 1 March, any changes can be considered by the DGFT under the prohibitions of the Competition Act 1998.208W
In addition, the Cruickshank Review is looking into competition in the banking sector.