The Open Banking Implementation Entity (the ‘OBIE’), the body created by the UK’s largest personal and small business current account providers to create a better way to move, manage and make more of your money, has confirmed that the roll out of Open Banking in the UK has begun
Over the course of the next six weeks the OBIE will bring the UK’s largest account providers and regulated third parties online and fully test the system using selected testing accounts only. This will enable all parties to be absolutely certain that the system is stable, fully secure and ready for UK consumers and small businesses.
Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Trustee of the OBIE, said:
“This is a major step towards giving the customer real ownership and control of their finances and data. From 13 January, regulated companies can start integrating with Open Banking and testing their products. Then, from March 2018, consumers and small businesses across the UK can start to make the most of a dynamic new range of financial services.
“The UK is the first nation in the world to launch Open Banking and many other countries are looking to our example. We should be immensely proud to be leading the revolution in retail and business banking because it means that UK customers will have more choice about how they manage and move their money.”
The OBIE was created by the UK’s nine largest personal and small business current account providers (the ‘CMA9’) in 2016, after an inquiry by the Competition and Markets Authority (the ‘CMA’) determined that Open Banking could bring new competition and innovation to an industry it felt needed shaking up.
Open Banking is a secure set of technologies and standards that allow customers to give companies other than their bank or building society permission to securely access their accounts. This means customers can, if they choose, easily use services from a range of different types of regulated companies without the need to share credentials with any third parties. They may, for example, choose to aggregate a view of all of their accounts through one provider or allow a company to analyse their account data to offer automated budgeting advice or cheaper overdrafts.
Companies using Open Banking to deliver their services have to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or an equivalent European Regulator. The FCA will start publishing the names of approved companies on its Register from 13 January 2018.
Open Banking runs on a well-established communications technology called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and is designed with customer security foremost in mind.
Adam Land, Senior Director at the CMA, said:
“This is a major milestone. These reforms will transform retail banking, completely changing the way that people interact with their accounts.
“Open Banking will allow you to take control of your own data and use it to find the best deals, help you switch and manage your money securely and more effectively. The possibilities are endless.”
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Open Banking is a new, secure way for customers to take control of their financial data and share it with organisations other than their banks. Open Banking has the power to revolutionise the way we move, manage and make more of our money. For businesses, it is about making the management of cashflow and receiving payments cheaper and easier. Open Banking will make things simpler, faster and more convenient.
Open Banking follows the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into the supply of personal current accounts (PCAs) and of banking services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Open Banking was created to enable innovation, transparency and competition in UK financial services. It is tasked with delivering the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), data structures and security architectures that will enable developers to harness technology, making it easy and safe for individuals and SMEs to share the financial information held by their banks with third parties.
Open Banking will bring substantial benefits. It gives customers and SMEs greater market choice and greater control over their money and associated data, along with better and easier access to new financial services providers in a secure environment.
Notes to Editors:
1. Open Banking Ltd was set up by the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) in September 2016 to fulfil one of the remedies mandated by the CMA following an investigation into UK retail banking.
2. The CMA’s investigation into the retail banking market (whose findings were published in August 2016) concluded that older and larger banks do not compete hard enough for customers’ business and that Open Banking should deliver a new, secure option for customers to be able to compare the deal they are getting from their bank.
3. Open Banking was created to enable innovation, transparency and competition to UK financial services. It is tasked with delivering the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), data structures and security architectures that will make it easy and safe for customers to share their financial records by January 2018.
4. The data provided by Open Banking will enable developers to harness technology that allows individuals and businesses to share their financial records held by their banks with third parties.
5. Open Banking is a private body; its governance, composition and budget was determined by the CMA. It is funded by the UK’s nine largest current account providers and overseen by the CMA, the Financial Conduct Authority and Her Majesty’s Treasury.
6. The 9 mandated institutions (referred to as the CMA9) are: Barclays plc, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Santander, Danske, HSBC, RBS, Bank of Ireland, Nationwide and AIBG.