Standard Chartered Bank does not enjoy dominant position in the relevant market of “provision of credit card/loan facilities by banks in India”

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CCI in its order under section 26(2) of the Competition Act, 2002 closed the case against the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) for alleged abuse of dominant position. The Informant filed information alleging abuse of dominance by SCB in credit card service facility. It was alleged that terms and conditions imposed on him by SCB are arbitrary and unilateral. Practices like charging of interest after operation of card, compounding of interest, etc. were also alleged to be unfair.  It was also alleged that the bank misused its dominant position and was acting in a manner which was contrary to competition and interest of consumers.

The CCI determined the relevant market as “provision of credit card/loan facilities by banks in India” and observed that many banks such as Citibank, American Express, IndusInd Bank, HSBC, RBL, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India operate along with Standard Chartered Bank and offer similar services. As the informant failed to place any material evidence on record to show that SCB operates independently of the competitive forces prevailing in the relevant market or that it can affect its competitors or consumers or the relevant market in its favour.

The Commission ruled that prima facie, Standard Chartered Bank does not appear to be dominant in the relevant marker and closed the matter. 

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