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OBWG REPORT “A SOLID FOUNDATION” SAYS FDATA

  • But industry body says rollout of data into API can be wider and much faster

HM Treasury has today published the report of the Open Banking Working Group (OBWG), which it commissioned last August to develop a detailed framework for the design of an open API.

FDATA Executive Director Andy Maciver was a member of the OBWG Steering Group, and FDATA members sat on all six of the sub-groups it created to develop the detailed proposals.

Commenting on the release of the report, Andy Maciver said:

“We were delighted to be involved in this report, the production of which brought together all of the industries required to make open banking a success, including banks, regulators and financial technology bodies.

“We welcome the proposed framework which has been developed – the suggestions for how we operate standards, security and governance are robust and represent a solid foundation on which to build.

“We are also pleased that the banking industry felt able to sign up to a report which makes clear that the passing of data to authorised third parties on behalf of consumers, in order to help them make better financial decisions, is both possible and desirable.

“However, we would restate what we have campaigned on throughout the process; if the UK really is to develop any form of competitive advantage, and be seen as a leader in this field, then we must travel further and faster.

“The recommendation of the report, that some read-only data be available through an API from Q1 2017, with more being available from Q1 2018, and write-access from Q1 2019, effectively copies the timescales required by PSD2.

“We believe that all of a consumer’s financial data across all types of account should be available in an API far more quickly than this, and the technology already exists to make it happen.

“Third party providers of account aggregation and payment initiation services exist because consumers have demanded it. Consumers want a smooth and sophisticated way to analyse and manage their financial lives. They want their financial data – all of it, unredacted and in real time – in one place. Our members provide that for them, and the slower this process is, the longer it will take for the UK to allow its consumers to access the services they want and need.”