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Competition Assessment in the Retail Banking sector in GCC countries (The World Bank Group)

Lear provided technical assistance to the World Bank Group in performing a competition assessment of the retail banking sector in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The study specifically focused on the SME segment. Lear collected information on laws, regulations and practices in the SME retail banking market in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, screened them, and identified unnecessary regulatory restrictions to competition and institutional inefficiencies. The study aimed at proposing changes to improve the regulatory and institutional environment, and ultimately increase access to financial services for SMEs while maintaining the stability of the banking sector. Within the scope of the study, Lear developed a methodology to foster a structured approach to the identification and impact assessment of potentially restrictive regulatory provisions and practices.