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BUDGET ANNOUNCEMENT A “GIANT LEAP” FORWARD SAYS FDATA

Trade body welcomes Treasury’s commitment to open financial data aggregation by the end of 2015

The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA), the industry body for financial technology (fintech) companies which give consumers more control over their financial data, has welcomed the announcement in today’s budget that HM Treasury aims to deliver an open API standard by the end of this year.

The key paragraph in the Budget documentation is:

7.12 The government is today announcing its intention to deliver an open API standard in UK banking. HM Treasury will work closely with banks and financial technology firms to take the design work forward and will set out a detailed framework for an open API standard by the end of 2015. This will allow the development of third-party apps that are compatible with the systems of all UK banks, and that can securely use customer banking data (with their permission), to provide even more in-depth comparisons and other value-added services.

FDATA’s members – six of the leading companies in the industry – currently use security credentials shared by the user to aggregate their financial life in one place. Our members’ services include:

  • aggregating savings and debts to create a holistic analysis of a consumer’s financial situation
  • analysing whether it is more efficient to save or to pay off credit
  • checking whether the savings or lending rate on a product can be bettered elsewhere

Welcoming the Treasury’s general approach on the issue, FDATA’s director Andy Maciver said:
“Hundreds of thousands of users across the country have been using the services of our members so that they can more easily manage their money. The development of an open API standard by the government is to be heartily welcomed. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that it is a giant leap towards the full opening of this market for the benefit of consumers.

“We will be discussing the next steps with the Treasury, regulators and banks to ensure that open data is rolled out in favour of the data aggregation industry.

“We will also aim to entrench a set of minimum industry standards, which we see as a critical step to ensure full confidence amongst all market participants.”