UK plans new data rules to boost bank­ing com­pe­ti­tion

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

New data-shar­ing rules could be in­tro­duced in Bri­tain from the end of this year to en­cour­age in­no­va­tion and com­pe­ti­tion in bank­ing, an in­dus­try work­ing group said on Wed­nes­day.

A com­mon data-shar­ing stan­dard would make it eas­ier for cus­tomers to find the right fi­nan­cial prod­ucts and for com­pa­nies to share in­for­ma­tion elec­tron­i­cally with their ac­coun­tants, the Open Bank­ing Work­ing Group's re­port said. Bank­ing data - deal­ing with mat­ters as var­ied as ac­count trans­ac­tions, mort­gage pay­ments and fit­ness club sub­scrip­tions - is cur­rently not easy to share with a third party in a for­mat that com­put­ers can read for feed­ing into apps or for use by new banks get­ting off the ground.

The group was set up last year at the re­quest of Bri­tain's fi­nance min­istry to ex­plore how data on ac­counts trans­ac­tions can be safely shared across the sec­tor.

The govern­ment wants to in­crease com­pe­ti­tion on the high street in a sec­tor dom­i­nated by just five banks - HSBC, Bar­clays, Lloyds, RBS and San­tander UK.

Bri­tain wants the so-called Fin­Tech sec­tor to flour­ish by cre­at­ing new types of apps and ser­vices in bank­ing.

The group said a new

en­tity would plan, de­sign and roll out the new stan­dard, though it is un­clear how it would be funded.

An ini­tial, ba­sic stan­dard would be launched to­wards the end of this year, with per­sonal cus­tomer trans­ac­tion data in­cluded on a read-only ba­sis at the start of 2018, the group said in a state­ment. Full cus­tomer, busi­ness and trans­ac­tional data would be in­cluded by 2019.

Har­ri­ett Bald­win, a ju­nior fi­nance min­is­ter, said the new stan- dard would "pro­vide Fin Techs with a glob­ally un­ri­valled op­por­tu­nity for in­no­va­tion in the UK.

"We look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work with in­dus­try over the com­ing weeks to es­tab­lish how th­ese rec­om­men­da­tions will be taken for­ward," Bald­win added.

The Bri­tish Bankers' As­so­ci­a­tion, a trade body, said mak­ing more bank data openly avail­able would make it eas­ier for cus­tomers to get the best deals," said An­thony Browne, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bri­tish Bankers' As­so­ci­a­tion.

"But cru­cially, no data would be shared with­out the ex­plicit con­sent of the cus­tomer and that data will be pro­tected with ro­bust se­cu­rity checks," Browne said.

The group's work pre-empts changes in Euro­pean Union law that will re­quire banks to al­low their cus­tomers to re­ceive their data over the in­ter­net and share it with third par­ties.

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