201412.16
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GROUP LAUNCHES TO GIVE BANK CUSTOMERS CONTROL OF THEIR FINANCES

Association for financial technology companies says their apps and services can revolutionise the way people control their finances

Today sees the launch of a new trade association to represent financial technology (‘fintech’) companies who aggregate account data to enable consumers to make better decisions and take control of their finances. The Financial Data and Technology Association – or FDATA – has six founder members who provide these innovative financial applications and services.

FDATA is being launched against the backdrop of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which is currently being negotiated in Brussels. FDATA accepts that PSD2’s overarching objective is to create a situation where aggregator fintech companies can access data in order to provide a valuable service to consumers, however in its current draft form it contains both opportunities and threats for our members.

FDATA’s initial focus will involve working collaboratively with government, regulatory authorities and financial institutions to ensure that the whole industry acts in the best interests of consumers by allowing fintech companies to offer them a full service. The Association has described its approach during this phase as a ‘triple-lock’ of engaging in Brussels, engaging in Whitehall and engaging in the City.

The second phase of the Association’s evolution will be to formalise the technical and ethical minimum standards which will govern the industry. The Association intends to write those rules with the full involvement of government, regulatory authorities and financial institutions so that its members can, in effect, become a ‘white list’ of companies to whom banks can release data with full confidence.

Commenting, FDATA’s Director Andy Maciver said:

“Customers of banks and financial institutions in other countries have been enjoying the benefits of full financial control for years. We want the same for UK consumers.

“We were pleased to see the UK Government confirming its support for an opening-up of the market in last week’s recent Autumn Statement. Similarly, negotiations in Brussels have an encouraging basic aim, although the likely outcome remains uncertain.

“We have very simple twin aims: to bring the benefits of financial technology to the UK consumer, and to put in place a strict code of industry practice to ensure complete data security. Our industry must be underpinned by a reputation for data security, so we have as much incentive as the banks and financial institutions to put a bullet-proof system in place.

“We are looking to engage with financial institutions with immediate effect as part of our ‘triple lock’ of engagement in Brussels, Whitehall and the City. We want them to a see us as partners rather than opponents.

“Our members’ apps and services make it easier for consumers to make better financial decisions.  It is now imperative that consumers be allowed to access their information in the way they choose. This revolution has been waiting too long.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The Financial Data and Technology Association was formed in 2014 to pave the way for customers to have more control of their financial data. Our member companies provide innovative financial applications and services to empower consumers to make better decisions and take fuller control of their financial lives across all their accounts, credit cards, loans and investments.

2. FDATA’s current members are Money Dashboard, Moneyhub, QuickBooks, Runpath Digital, Safety Net Credit and Yodlee.

3. FDATA is online at www.fdata.org.uk and on twitter @fdataUK

4. For more information contact FDATA’s directors : Andy Maciver on 07855 261 244 or Peter Duncan on 07749 469 949