Category: CMA

The CMA has today published its response on the next steps for open banking across several key areas including monitoring, regulatory oversight, resourcing, sustainability, leadership and representation. Alongside the CMA’s consultation response, HMT, FCA, PSR and CMA have published a Joint Regulatory Statement providing further clarity to the open banking ecosystem on the government’s and regulators’ ambition for open banking and its extension into open finance and other sectors.

Commenting on the announcements, the OBIE’s Trustee and Chair, Charlotte Crosswell, said: “We welcome the announcements by the government and regulators, and the endorsement it gives for the future of open banking to our thriving ecosystem. There has been significant collaboration in developing the infrastructure, standards and ecosystem that we have in place today. We now need to drive forward competition and adoption to realise the benefits of innovation for consumers and businesses across the UK.

“Today’s announcement underlines government and regulators’ commitment to the future success of open banking, and the foundations for open finance and beyond. We will look forward to working with the new Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee over the course of this year.”

Crosswell took the opportunity to reflect on the public good aspect of the CMA’s Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017, and highlight why the UK leads the world in open banking implementation and growth. 

“Four years ago, open banking was a concept in name only. Today, more than five million consumers and small businesses are benefiting from open banking-enabled products, and this is only the start. We did not make so much progress by accident, it was by design. The UK’s leadership in open banking was enabled by our pro-competition approach and the ambition of our regulators and government. This forward looking leadership provided the confidence and the means through which innovation has flourished. I look forward to working in close collaboration with all stakeholders in taking open banking into the future and strengthening the UK’s leadership in this field.”

Henk Van Hulle, the OBIE’s CEO, said the organisation was already in planning and preparation mode. We have already made positive organisational, governance and operational changes to ensure we are best placed to take these arrangements forward. We will consult with key stakeholders and develop a detailed plan for transition, and I am confident that we are in a strong position to deliver what is needed to drive progress and maintain momentum in open banking.” 

Ends.

Notes to editors.  

For further enquiries, or to arrange an interview with an OBIE spokesperson, please contact Adam Taylor, adam.taylor@cicero-group.com.

Open Banking Ltd is the entity set up by the CMA9 as ordered by the CMA in 2016 to deliver open banking. Its trading name is Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE).

The OBIE is funded by the CMA9 (Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, NatWest Group and Santander). The OBIE works with the CMA9, as well as challenger banks, financial technology companies, third party providers and consumer groups.

The OBIE’s role is to:

We are pleased to announce that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today published a clarification of the definition of sweeping.

This follows its decision in July 2021 to mandate the use of Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) as the mechanism for implementing sweeping under item A10 of the Open Banking Revised Roadmap.

Next steps for Managed Roll Out

The OBIE will now progress plans with those banks subject to the CMA Order (the CMA9) and Third Party Providers (TPPs) to test sweeping using Variable Recurring Payments in a Managed Roll Out (MRO).

Charlotte Crosswell, OBIE Chair and Trustee, said: “We welcome the clarity provided by the CMA today and look forward to the new Sweeping propositions coming to market later this year. Delivering better outcomes continues to be a key focus of our innovative ecosystem and sweeping is a great example of how consumers and SMEs can make their money work harder with better interest rates and overdraft alternatives.”

The newly appointed Chair of the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), Charlotte Crosswell pledged to acknowledge and learn from past mistakes to help open banking deliver on its mission as a public good by increasing competition and innovation and ultimately securing better outcomes for consumers and SMEs.

Charlotte Crosswell, Chair of the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE)

Crosswell’s appointment comes after Imran Gulamhuseinwala resigned as OBIE Trustee and Chair following an independent investigation commissioned by the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority). Having considered the findings, the CMA last week published the report and set out the next steps to be taken.

Crosswell is charged with leading the planned transition to the future arrangements for open banking. Further priority hires will be the appointment of new Non-Executive Directors to the OBIE board to give appropriate independent scrutiny and oversight. The OBIE will work with the CMA and CMA9 to put the appropriate measures in place surrounding their appointments.

Charlotte Crosswell, OBIE’s Chair said: “Firstly I want to thank everyone who contributed to the review and acknowledge that those must have been difficult conversations to have. On behalf of OBIE, I want to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise to anyone who feels negatively affected or let down by the issues identified in Ms White’s report. In my new role at OBIE, I am committed to turning these learnings into effective and meaningful change both in terms of stronger governance as well as a continued focus on employee values and wellbeing.

 As part of a transition from a contractor to employee model, the OBIE has already made some progress on overhauling its employment infrastructure; the implementation of employment policies and procedures, the establishment of a dedicated HR function and a Culture and Values Working Group. The sentiment conveyed to me by an overwhelming number of existing staff is that the OBIE of today is unrecognisable from the negative culture previously described. However, the observations and findings of Ms White mean that there is absolutely no scope for complacency. Under my leadership we will commit to working to ensure that there is no repetition of any failings and inadequacies, historical or otherwise. Simply put, what happened was unacceptable and can’t happen again. We intend to act swiftly and decisively. Non-Executive Directors will be appointed to the OBIE board as a priority, to provide appropriate independent scrutiny and oversight.

Ms Crosswell went on to explain that since joining the OBIE initially as Transition Lead earlier this year she has been hugely impressed with the professionalism, dedication and innovation of the OBIE team and the wider support of the open banking ecosystem.

 “OBIE personnel past and present have helped to establish the UK as a recognised world leader in open banking. 4 million consumers and small businesses in the UK now use services powered by open banking technology. Everyone that works for the OBIE believes in the mission and that has been powerful and inspiring to witness.

 With the CMA soon to announce next steps towards the model for the future governance of open banking we are at a key inflection point, and I hope this will give us greater clarity and enable us to implement fully the kind of leadership, governance and structure, alongside a supportive, diverse and inclusive culture, that is vital for a progressive and permanent organisation.” 

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For further information, please contact: press@openbanking.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

  1. Open banking enables consumers and SMEs to share their bank and credit card transaction data securely with trusted third parties who are then able to provide them with applications and services which save them time and money.
  1. Charlotte Crosswell OBE was appointed as Transition Lead at Open Banking Ltd earlier this year. Charlotte has been involved in capital markets and technology throughout her career – as CEO, Board Advisor and Non-Executive Director. She is the Former CEO of Innovate Finance, where she worked closely with Fintech entrepreneurs, government and regulators in addition to working on the Independent Strategic Review into UK Fintech that was published in February 2021. Charlotte also represents UK Fintech on the Department for International Trade’s Financial Services Trade Advisory Group.
  1. You can view Alison White’s report on the CMA’s website.
  1. The CMA announced the following steps that are being taken following the investigation:
  1. The open banking implementation phase will complete in 2022. The findings of the Alison White investigation will also be taken into consideration in relation to the future governance arrangements for OBIE, alongside responses received to the CMA consultation earlier this year. A further update on this will be published as a priority.

About Us

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is the entity set up by the CMA in 2016 to deliver open banking. Its trading name is Open Banking Limited.

The OBIE is governed by the CMA and funded by the CMA9 (Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Natwest Group and Santander). Its works with the CMA 9, as well as challenger banks, financial technology companies, third party providers and consumer groups.

The OBIE’s role is to:

The Open Banking Implementation (OBIE) has today launched a consultation on version 3.1.9 of the OBIE Standard. This represents the next stage in the development of open banking in the UK.

This versions includes updates on:

The OBIE welcomes responses to the consultation from all interested parties. The consultation process will take place between the 16th August and 3rd September 2021.

  1. The OBIE is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, 24th August at 13:00, to talk through v3.1.9 artefacts and explain the consultation process in more detail. If you wish to join this session, please register via Eventbrite here.
  2. Written consultation responses are due by midday on 3rd September 
  3. Please submit one response per organisation for each artefact.
  4. Responses are deemed to be non-confidential.
  5. Consultation responses will be reviewed, and the responses published, before the September Implementation Entity Steering Group meeting

Links to the draft version 3.1.9 of the OBIE Standard & feedback pages

 API specification

ASPSP MI Specifications & Change Log

TPP MI Specifications & Change Log

Customer Experience Guidelines & Change Log

Guidance for TPPs on use of VRPs for sweeping

Feedback pages

In addition to the above we would like to inform the ecosystem that we have updated the Variable Recurring Payment Proposition to include the agreed definition of Sweeping.

If you experience any issues accessing any of these links, please raise a ticket via the Service Desk Portal (if you have access)

https://openbanking.atlassian.net/servicedesk/customer/portal/1 or email the ServiceDesk@openbanking.org.uk and we can organise access.

All other queries can be directed to press@openbanking.org.uk

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For further information, please contact: press@openbanking.org.uk

About Us

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 cash flow and receiving payments cheaper and easier. Open banking will make things simpler, faster and more convenient.

The OBIE 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).

The OBIE 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:

The OBIE 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.

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.

The OBIE 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.

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.

The OBIE 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.

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.

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is delighted to learn that the CMA has decided, in line with the Trustee’s recommendations to mandate Variable Recurring Payments (VRPs) as the mechanism for implementing sweeping.

The CMA today published a letter to the Implementation Trustee that stated: “Making effective provision for sweeping is an important element of the open banking remedy and it is important that sweeping provisions include the ability to move funds out of current accounts into accounts earning a higher rate of interest, and conversely enables customers to access alternative and cheaper sources of short-term credit.”

Simply put, sweeping is the automatic transfer of money between a customer’s own accounts, such as moving excess funds into a separate savings account or using them to repay a loan or overdraft account.

VRPs allow customers to safely connect authorised payments providers to their bank account so that they can make payments on the customer’s behalf within agreed parameters that offer more control and transparency than existing alternatives.

This decision means that the largest UK current account providers will have to implement VRPs within the next six months and allow free access to third party providers who are using VRPs to enable their customers to move money from their current accounts to other accounts.

Commenting on the CMA’s decision, OBIE’s Implementation Trustee Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE said:

“The CMA’s decision in line with OBIE’s advice, is a win for competition and innovation, which will deliver significant benefits to consumers and small businesses. We’ve been anticipating a decision from the CMA on this for some time now and have been on standby to implement this by the end of this year. The OBIE will now mandate Variable Recurring Payments for the purpose of sweeping, which is the automatic movement of money between an account holder’s different accounts. We like to think of it as the smarter version of direct debit payments.

This is a major step forward in payments, giving consumers more control over their money whilst also protecting them from incurring unwanted fees. It will, for example, allow surplus money to be automatically transferred from a current account to a savings account to help build a savings pot or to an overdraft or loan account to help the customer keep their borrowing costs to a minimum.

We are especially delighted as this is the last major piece of functionality to be delivered under the CMA’s open banking remedies. Over the past five years, we have built a thriving open banking ecosystem that already benefits nearly 4 million people and is growing rapidly. We look forward to the outcome of the CMA’s consultation on the future governance of open banking, which we hope will allow us to continue delivering world-leading innovation to the benefit of consumers, SMEs and the industry.”

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For further information, please contact: press@openbanking.org.uk

About Us

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is the entity set up by the CMA in 2016 to deliver open banking. Its trading name is Open Banking Limited.

The OBIE is governed by the CMA and funded by the CMA9 (Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Natwest Group and Santander). Its works with the CMA 9, as well as challenger banks, financial technology companies, third party providers and consumer groups. The OBIE’s role is to:

The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) today published all of the responses it received (60) to its recent consultation on the future oversight of the open banking remedies, including the submission presented by the OBIE’s Implementation Trustee, Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE.

The Trustee’s full written response to the Consultation can be accessed here.

Imran Gulamhuseinwala said: “We are at a critical juncture in the journey of Open Banking in the UK, with the CMA set to decide the future path that journey will take in the coming weeks. I am proud of what we have achieved thus far, with the infrastructure largely built and adoption and innovation picking up pace. But we now must look to the future.

The UK has long led the world in the field of financial innovation and we have a golden opportunity for Open Banking to evolve to the next logical phase, Open Finance – opening up new products and opportunities for citizens and businesses alike. My response provides the CMA with a forward-looking and positive plan to bank what we have achieved and to prepare us for what comes next.”

The consultation, which ran from the 5 to the 29 March 2021, sought “stakeholder views on what arrangements it would be appropriate to put in place to ensure the effective oversight and governance of the CMA’s open banking remedies” following the completion of the OBIE’s existing implementation Roadmap, and to generate insight from the ecosystem on an appropriate transition process towards a future governance model.

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For further information, please contact: press@openbanking.org.uk

About Us

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is the entity set up by the CMA in 2016 to deliver open banking. Its trading name is Open Banking Limited.

The OBIE is governed by the CMA and funded by the CMA9 (Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Natwest Group and Santander). Its works with the CMA 9, as well as challenger banks, financial technology companies, third party providers and consumer groups. The OBIE’s role is to:

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is pleased to announce the publication of the Extended Customer Attributes (ECA) standard. This optional extension to the Open Banking standard is a significant enhancement and supports a range of identity-related use cases such as customer onboarding, age verification and delivery address confirmation.

The ECA Standard enables data providers, such as banks, to share or verify customer data attributes, for example age and address, with businesses that act as relying parties, such as retailers. This will reduce the time and cost associated with validating this data manually, bringing benefits to consumers, businesses and data providers.

This OBIE-designed “Premium API” Standard is not related to a regulatory requirement.

The ECA Standard was funded by seven of the largest UK banks, and designed in an inclusive way, with a wide range of participation to reflects views of consumers, businesses and banks.

For firms looking to implement the ECA standard, please see the following link for further details:

https://openbanking.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DZ/pages/2013888689/ECA+Standard+-+RC1

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For further information, please contact: press@openbanking.org.uk

About Us

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is the entity set up by the CMA in 2016 to deliver open banking. Its trading name is Open Banking Limited.

The OBIE is governed by the CMA and funded by the CMA 9 (Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Natwest Group and Santander). It works with the CMA 9, as well as challenger banks, financial technology companies, third party providers and consumer groups. The OBIE’s role is to:

This morning the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have published a consultation paper on the future governance of open banking. Responding to the news, Imran Gulamhuseinwala, Trustee, Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) said: 

“As the OBIE comes to the end of the implementation phase, we look forward to working with the CMA, who will set out the next steps and we encourage any external stakeholders to contribute to the consultation. A regular appraisal of the progress of open banking implementation is crucial to ensure a healthy ecosystem and competitive market.”

“Open banking has been critical to supporting the UK’s emerging and growing FinTech industry. We have pioneered the technology and as the Government said only last week, it is now taking the world by storm. The legislation that underpins open banking (PSD2) applied to all EU countries, yet three years on, the UK has more open banking providers than the whole of the EU combined. That’s a clear endorsement to how we have approached this opportunity.

“In 2018, the OBIE was tasked to help build the framework and the standards that would allow open banking to flourish. I am delighted that we now have more than three million regular users of open banking-enabled products, from money management tools to help consumers manage their personal finances better, to accountancy products that are helping small businesses find cheaper Covid loans and manage cashflow. Currently, we are seeing one million new users of open banking every six months and growing innovation in areas such as payments.

“As we look beyond to open finance and smart data, it is terrific to see a clear recommendation from the Kalifa Review supporting the concept of a similar mandated body to oversee its implementation. It will be beneficial to UK FinTech, but most importantly to consumers and small businesses.”

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For further information, please contact: press@openbanking.org.uk

About Us

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is the entity set up by the CMA in 2016 to deliver open banking. Its trading name is Open Banking Limited.

The OBIE is governed by the CMA and funded by the CMA 9 (Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide, Natwest Group and Santander). Its works with the CMA 9, as well as challenger banks, financial technology companies, third party providers and consumer groups. The OBIE’s role is to:

 

 

CMA publishes approved Roadmap for the final stages of Open Banking implementation

Following the submission of the proposed Revised Roadmap for Open Banking, on 7th  April, the CMA defined areas of the proposal which had been approved and those requiring minor amendments. Working collaboratively with the CMA, the OBIE Trustee subsequently addressed these modifications and submitted an updated version of the Roadmap accordingly. On 14th May, the CMA published the Final Approved Roadmap for Open Banking.    

Commenting on the incorporation of the Roadmap into the Order, Trustee of the OBIE, Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE said: 

”Today the CMA published the Final Agreed Roadmap on Open Banking, laying out the steps required to take to finalise the implementation of Open Banking. Already an ecosystem of more than 200 third parties are delivering tangible products and services powered by Open Banking to more than one million users, and more of us are realising the benefits of Open Banking every day.

This Roadmap will deliver a seamless Open Banking experience for users and improve the functionality of Open Banking, particularly around payments. The timelines have been extended because of the current crisis, and also incorporate flexibility should the current restrictions continue for longer than anticipated. This approach allows the banks to prioritise their Covid-19 responses, while still ensuring that good progress towards completing the final stages of implementation can be achieved.” 

Open Banking The blueprint to better financial management

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: AIG Group UK, trading as First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland, Bank of Ireland (UK), Barclays Bank plc, HSBC Group, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Nationwide Building Society, Northern Bank Limited, trading as DankseBank, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (in Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and Santander.

The CMA’s Decision on the OBIE Trustee’s proposals for the final stages of Open Banking implementation.

On 7th April the CMA issued its response to the proposed Revised Roadmap for Open Banking. In this response, it sets out those areas of the proposal that are approved and those that require minor amendments.

Commenting on the CMA response to the proposed Revised Roadmap, Trustee of the OBIE, Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE said:

“Today the CMA published an updated Roadmap that will now enable us to complete the implementation of Open Banking.

I am pleased the CMA has substantially approved all the proposals that are intended to improve performance, fill in the gaps in payment functionality and enable greater user adoption. The CMA requires some amendments and further detail on timing to account for the impact of Covid-19.

The CMA shares my view that, whilst we have made good progress, having passed the one million user mark in January, more needs to be done to ensure that we can look back on a successful implementation of Open Banking in the UK and ensure more consumers and businesses are able to use Open Banking to manage their finances.”

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: AIG Group UK, trading as First Trust Bank in Northern Ireland, Bank of Ireland (UK), Barclays Bank plc, HSBC Group, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Nationwide Building Society, Northern Bank Limited, trading as DankseBank, The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (in Great Britain and Northern Ireland) and Santander.

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has today issued Directions to five banks in respect of the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017. These Directions relate to delays in delivering certain aspects of the Open Banking programme, in particular with regard to mobile app functionality. Whilst it is recognised that four of the mandated banks have met the deadline, the Implementation Trustee of OBIE has recommended to the CMA that Directions are issued to those banks who have missed the agreed deadlines, and that enforcement processes are put in place.

Commenting on the CMA Directions, Trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE, said:

“While we are aware that the Open Banking programme has ambitious and challenging timescales, it is disappointing that some banks have needed more time to deliver some important new Open Banking functionality to their customers.

“However, we are pleased to see that four of the mandated banks have delivered these changes either on or ahead of time – which means that their customers will start to reap the benefits of the enhanced functionality and features that have been introduced.

“While it is still early days, overall it is clear that Open Banking is gaining momentum and traction, with innovative new products and services launching which will ultimately help customers move, manage and make more of their money.”

A revised Implementation Delivery Plan, which takes into account the revised deadlines agreed with the banks, and details key implementation dates on an individual bank basis can be accessed here.

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For further information, please contact:

press@openbanking.org.uk

About Us

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 & 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.

There are four significant changes taking place in March in relation to the UK’s Open Banking project and PSD2, the European legislation aimed at increasing pan-European competition and participation in the payments industry.

Adoption of the Open Banking Standard

Firstly, the managed roll out of the latest version of the Open Banking Standard begins this month from the mandated 9 banks (CMA9).

To be specific, this means that the CMA9 are now in the process of uplifting their production APIs to version 3.1 of the Read/Write API Specifications for both personal and business current accounts. This managed roll out is expected to take place over the next month, and will include the implementation of Mobile App authentication. The introduction of Mobile App authentication is expected to deliver a significant improvement to customer experience as well as accelerate customer adoption of both account information and payment initiation services. Importantly, this is also a significant step towards achieving full PSD2 implementation across the mandated banks and building societies.

Introduction of eIDAS Certificates

The Open Banking Directory (https://www.openbanking.org.uk/providers/directory/) has been further developed and upgraded and is now able to auto-enrol regulated entities via an API through the use of eIDAS certificates. Other enhancements include the introduction of APIs for all Directory services, which will facilitate automation for discovery, on-boarding and certificate/key management.

Testing Facility Open to Third Parties

All Account Providers in the UK and Europe who are applying to their Competent Authority for a ‘fallback exemption’ are required to make their API testing facility available to third parties. The regulatory requirements for these facilities (or “Sandboxes”) are explained in detail in the Operational Guidelines we have produced (https://www.openbanking.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Operational-Guidelines.pdf). This further supports the journey towards PSD2 compliance, enabling third parties to develop and test their propositions prior to launch across other account providers and for all PSD2 in-scope accounts.

Managed Conversion and Launch Assistance Programme

We have begun the roll out of our Managed Conversion and Launch Assistance (MCLA) programme. This is a managed service for all account providers and third parties enrolled with OBIE, designed to help facilitate testing, using either production APIs (i.e. live proving) and/or testing facilities (i.e. pre-live testing). This is a critical service which should speed up the growth of the ecosystem and deliver better outcomes for all Open Banking participants, and ultimately end customers.

Imran Gulamhuseinwala OBE, Trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity, said:

“The initiatives outlined above will further accelerate the potential Open Banking has to revolutionise the way people move, manage and make more of their money. Whilst the changes outlined above are technical in nature, they are strategically significant in the importance they will play in ultimately providing people with great new products and services, supported by enhanced customer experience. There are some important features due to be launched in due course, including biometric authentication, which we believe will make Open Banking even easier for customers whilst equally as secure. However, not all the banks are able to move at the same pace in launching these features and consequently I am now in discussions with the CMA regarding the appropriate action to take against those banks who will miss agreed delivery dates as detailed on the Roadmap.”

“However, as we enter the final six months of our delivery programme, we remain excited by the growth and maturity we see emerging across the global ecosystem and the commitment shown by the diverse players who are working powerfully together to fully optimise this transformative opportunity.”

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For further information, please contact:

press@openbanking.org.uk

About Us

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.