Canadian Lenders Association

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FDATA North America Joins Industry Trade Groups in Letter to Department of Finance on Implementation of Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Open Banking Report

November 10, 2021, Washington, DC – Last week, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) of North America, along with the Paytechs of Canada Association and the Canadian Lenders Association (CLA), sent a joint letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland requesting that the Department adopt the phase one and two recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Open Banking report and urging its public support for the same.

In the letter, the groups, whose organizations represent nearly 250 financial technology companies, emphasize the importance of swift implementation of the recommendations to ensure Canada remains competitive in the global market. Countries around the world, from the United Kingdom and New Zealand to Australia and the United States, have seen marked improvements in financial access and inclusion through open finance products delivered by technology-based financial services providers. “By contrast, Canadian consumers or small businesses have no legally binding right to their own financial data, which stifles competition and innovation in the financial services marketplace,” the groups state. 

Additionally, the groups state that a delay of implementation of the Advisory Committee’s recommendations open the door for some of Canada’s large financial institutions to dismiss the government’s intention to deliver open finance in line with the report’s recommendations, which undermine the certainty around the commitments.

“It is critically important that the government confirm to financial institutions, financial technology companies, and Canadian consumers and small businesses its intention to implement an open finance regime in line with all of the Advisory Committee’s recommendations,” the groups state. Specifically, they point to the appointment of an open banking lead “as soon as possible,” creating a legally binding financial data right, and beginning work on the Advisory Committee’s second phase, “which must include payment initiation and account creation capabilities, as well as a formal governance entity.” 

FDATA was heavily involved in the UK Open Banking Working Group in 2015. In 2016, the working group’s output was published by Her Majesty’s Treasury as the Open Banking Standard. FDATA North America was founded in early 2018. Its members collectively provide tens of millions of consumers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico with aggregation-based tools to better manage their finances.

Members include air (Alliance for Innovative Regulation), APImetrics, Basis Theory, Betterment, BillGo, Codat, Direct ID, Envestnet Yodlee, Equitable Bank, Experian, Finansystech, Fiserv, Flinks, Interac, Intuit, Inverite, Kabbage, Mogo, Morningstsar, M Science, MX, Petal, Plaid, Questrade, Rocket Mortgage, SaltEdge, Trustly, ValidiFI, VoPay, Wealthica, Xero, and others.