Ottawa’s open banking panel calls for ‘framework to enable consumer-directed finance’


The four-member advisory committee recommended users have control of their financial-transaction data; that the government consider privacy, security and innovation when setting rules; and that it establish an accountability mechanism for breaches. Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced that the group will now study data security in financial services, and report its findings “later this year.” (The Logic)

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Talking point: The panel’s report does not include requirements for large financial institutions to give new market entrants access to data at customers’ request, or technical standards for data-sharing. Fintech startups and investors have argued both are necessary to create more competition. “We are behind many other countries on the journey, and it’s clear there’s real pent-up consumer demand,” said Andrew Graham, CEO of Borrowell, which provides credit reports and recommends products. The report said up to four million people in Canada are already using data-driven financial products, typically through a process called “screen-scraping” that violates many banks’ terms of service. Graham also said the government should assert consumers’ data rights. The committee’s second-stage focus is in line with Ottawa’s emphasis on privacy and security in the broader data policy approach under Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains; a finance department-commissioned survey last year found both were key consumer concerns around open banking. – Murad