By Jonathan Davies

The City regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), will investigate competition in the UK's investment and corporate banking services.

The FCA said the investigation, which is the first of its kind, has strong potential to improve the sector.

The regulator believes it is hard for clients to assess whether they were "getting value for money" and there is "limited clarity over price and quality of services".

"We have chosen this particular area because the benefits of effective competition in the market could be significant," said Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA.

"The UK is a global hub for investment banking, and this sector plays a crucial role in our economy, helping companies raise capital for investment, expansion and funding ongoing operations."

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