About the OBIE

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) creates software standards and industry guidelines to drive competition, innovation and transparency in UK retail banking. 

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Learn more about open banking

In 2016, The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report on the UK’s retail banking market. The report found that older, larger banks don’t have to compete hard enough to gain customers’ business, while newer banks find it difficult to access the market and grow. One of the CMA’s recommendations to tackle this problem was open banking.

Since 2018, the open banking ecosystem has enabled customers and SMEs to share their current account information securely with third party providers, who use that data to tailor their apps and services to peoples’ specific financial circumstances.

As the open banking programme matures, the OBIE is evolving from a singularly focussed programme delivery entity, into a broader ecosystem enabler and services provider. OBIE activities can now be broadly grouped into three areas:

WORKING TO BRING OPEN BANKING TO LIFE

1
Supervisory activities

The OBIE enables the Trustee to discharge his regulatory obligations, by:

  • Providing secretariat services to the Implementation Entity Steering Group (see Governance & Financials section for more detail on the IESG)
  • Recording and managing the governance of CMA 9 requirements under the CMA Order and Roadmap
  • Collating management information (MI) from the CMA 9 on their implementation of the OBIE open banking Standards and Roadmap items, and the performance of those implementations
  • Providing frequent reports to the Trustee based on this monitoring
  • Supporting the Trustee in the issuance of Directions in situations where performance or implementations are deemed to be below expectations, followed by the ongoing monitoring of adherence to those Directions
  • This work is carried out primarily by the Office of the Trustee, which includes the Monitoring team, who in turn draw on the wider expertise of colleagues across the entire organisation and particularly the Management Information team.
2
Shaping and championing the opening banking ecosystem

The OBIE generates the Standard and promotes the ecosystem, by:

  • Publishing and maintaining the OBIE open banking Standard
  • Operating the Evaluate/Consult/Implement process by developing content and running consultations and working groups
  • Promoting open banking to the wider ecosystem, end user organisations and new verticals, to encourage participation, highlight use cases and fuel adoption
  • Curating and producing research, expert analysis, thought leadership and insight that is of value to ecosystem participants
3
Providing critical services and infrastructure

The OBIE underpins the day-to-day running of open banking in the UK, by:

  • Developing and operating the OBIE Directory, which is the trust framework that sits at the heart of open banking
  • Providing tangible technical assistance to all ecosystem participants, including financial institutions, pre-paid and credit card providers, and TPPs – from certification and on-boarding through to BAU support
  • Maintaining the highest principles of security and counter-fraud within the ecosystem and providing an information-sharing platform between participants
  • Enabling ecosystem participants with a platform for managing disputes and complaints

The OBIE’s Annual Report

2020 was a transformational year for open banking and for the OBIE. This report provides an overview of the OBIE’s activities for 2020 and 2021.

Read the report
annual report