FDATA Global

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FDATA Successful in Collaborative Bid for £23m GOFCoE Funding

FDATA Successful in Collaborative Bid for £23m GOFCoE Funding

June 26, 2020, Edinburgh, Scotland: Today, FDATA Global Executive Chairman Gavin Littlejohn announced in a letter to FDATA membership the association’s success in acquiring £23m in funding for the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) to advance Open Finance across the United Kingdom, Europe, and around the world.

Following recent notification by the UK Government, I am delighted to announce that the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) has been successful in acquiring a seed fund of £23m by way of grant, to cornerstone its investment strategy.

This major award is part of a much larger funding strategy to build a world-class global utility for Research and Development in this domain; GOFCoE will be seeking to quickly build on this cornerstone investor with private sector involvement from both within the UK and international markets. The initial goal is to double the funding. The long term aim is to make GOFCoE self-sustaining as an industry utility.

As Open Finance initiatives proliferate throughout the world, FDATA has developed considerable capability and influence to shape the fundamental policy, governance and technology elements that are vital to successful delivery and for a healthy, competitive ‘Open’ market.

As PSD2 came into force in Europe in early 2018, it became apparent that there were various things which the market place desperately needed but for which there was no obvious focal point or leadership to make these assets available. To respond to these gaps in market fulfilment, FDATA prepared a paper and developed a strategy for solving some of these issues: GOFCoE, originally announced to the market at the FDATA Global Summit in December 2018. Since then, FDATA has developed relationships with key partners, including the University of Edinburgh (UoE), to build out its capability, resourcing a small team to develop the business plan, funding requirements, governance arrangements and strategic vision to make it a reality.

The UoE, chosen for its internationally recognised strengths in supercomputing and data science, has proven to be an outstanding partner, fully committing to the vision of problem-solving through international collaboration and, making its resources and funding available to kick-start the programme.


About GOFCoE

GOFCoE aims to provide leadership, coordination, research, and capability to develop the benefits of Open Finance and to help safely unlock the potential of customer data as a force to improve lives. GOFCoE is set up to be an industry, regulatory and academic collaboration, and focusing on areas of the market that can only be really solved through collaboration. Some examples include:

  1. A Financial Data Sandpit of pseudonymised financial data contributed from multiple market verticals to help banks, fund managers, insurers and fintechs to more rapidly develop hypothesise, prototype algorithms, test business models and work with regulatory sandboxes to develop proof points.
  2. A Global Economic Observatory – a longitudinal study of how human kind earns, spends and saves through the lens of both consumers and businesses. This observatory will source a wide variety of private sector and public sector data sets to provide an unprecedented research and policy capability including looking at things like how people manage unfair credit or prepare for a long life.
  3. An Algorithmic Bias Test Laboratory – a new capability to assist financial services practitioners reduce discrimination, providing assurance of compliance and ethical standards in their algorithmic distribution of products and services.
  4. A Global Open Finance Technical Standards Working Group – creating a digital library of the output of national and international agencies developing API standards, coupled to a working group of those agencies seeking to develop harmonisation of security standards for data sharing, digital identity, conformance testing and interoperability across markets. The OpenID Foundation will be a key partner in this initiative.
  5. An Economic Crime Unit – providing an international collaboration environment to enable enhanced pattern recognition research and development to reduce money laundering and fraud.
  6. An Education and Training Programme – running courses in machine learning in financial services, data ethics and data governance.
    In the coming months, GOFCoE will be spun out of FDATA and the UoE into an independent entity, while continuing to be hosted on campus at the university. The intention behind this evolution is to put it into an internationally diverse governance framework. Although it is very much intended to support firms (including FDATA members), regulators, policy makers and academic research, it is critical to its success that it remains independent of these actors, not perceived to be controlled by one nation state, and is positioned always on the side of the end customer. To that end, trust, market neutrality and ethics have a special meaning for the GOFCoE ethos. I will join the initial board of directors and work with them to ensure that this market positioning goal is achieved.

Since its earliest origins in 2013, FDATA has lobbied for the rights of consumers and businesses to share their financial data with regulated actors of their choosing and to represent the interests of members in the delivery of Open Finance. GOFCoE is a major new international collaboration, a research and development facility through which Open Finance objectives will be supported, with a suite of practical capabilities for you to work with.

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Financial Data and Technology Association and OpenID Foundation in Global Agreement

Not-for-profits to campaign jointly on open finance initiatives.

The OpenID Foundation (OIDF), the international standardization organization which maintains a standard known as the Financial-grade API (FAPI), and the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA Global), the global trade association for companies working to promote ‘open finance’ and best practice financial data sharing, have signed a liaison agreement to enable them to work jointly across the world.

Under the agreement, FDATA Global, with chapters in Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand, will lead policy efforts to implement open banking frameworks across the globe while OIDF will focus on the technology behind a digital identity solution. The agreement will:

  1. Provide a mechanism for the parties to work together on mutually approved white papers, press releases, activities, presentations and other communications;
  2. Allow participation of each party’s staff and members in the other party’s meetings, as mutually agreed by both parties;
  3. Provide a line of communications in order for the parties to communicate (without obligation and only to the extent each party chooses) about new work under consideration and about upcoming meetings;
  4. Support their common goals, including where appropriate and mutually agreed, to promote common standards across markets, and to collaborate on the development and implementation of certain standards and publications of common interest; and
  5. Avoid market confusion regarding their respective organizations and activities.

FDATA Global works with governments, regulatory authorities, and the financial services industries to open up the financial sector all over the world to the benefits of financial data and technology, including advocating for the adoption of open banking frameworks and open banking standards.

The OIDF is an international standards development organization of leading identity and security architects, with a broad range of communities and companies developing open standards that enable firms and customers to safely interact in digital channels. The FAPI working group of OIDF has collaborated to produce the FAPI security profile, which is an integrated set of schemas, security and privacy recommendations and protocols which enables common connections that enable API to easily connect and for financial data to be safely shared and privacy protected.

As Open Banking and Open Finance initiatives develop across the world, the FAPI profile will be the starting point for markets seeking to reduce complexity, risk and engineering costs, making it easier for firms to connect and test their APIs.

Commenting, FDATA Global’s Chairman Gavin Littlejohn said:
“Open finance is the single biggest movement in financial services globally. It will change the world, and it will change the lives of young and old, rich and poor.

“The core components of delivering this change are the enshrining of the customer’s right to share their data, a regulatory environment that supports this right and an implementation capability that transitions the market access to high quality secure APIs.

“In the UK API initiative, the introduction of the FAPI security profile and FAPI conformance testing suites ensured that both sides of the API connection conformed to the profile. This had a transformational impact on the implementation experience, making connections easier between banks and fintech firms, making it easier for regulators to understand that security standards were being met, and greatly reduced the complex engineering and maintenance costs across the industry.

“As the Australian, Japanese, US and some of the European groups are developing their API initiatives, it is great to see the FAPI Security Profile discussed in the standardization agenda. FDATA Global is happy to be able to support the brilliant work of the OIDF and recommend that the FAPI working group output become the starting point of that conversation and a cornerstone of the implementation experience.”

Don Thibeau, Executive Director of the OpenID Foundation, said:
“The development of open global standards like FAPI require the painstaking commitment and contributions of a wide variety of companies, communities and individual developers. This is demonstrated in the ongoing work of the OpenID Foundation’s FAPI Work Group and the leadership of Nomura Research, Microsoft, Intuit and many others. Open standards are only as valuable as their adoption and adoption is driven by trust.  The FAPI Self Certification Test Suite enables trust by helping assure interoperability across computing platforms and international regulatory regimes.

“Our collaboration with FDATA and others demonstrates the importance of the ongoing improvement of trusted standards and certification tests needed by a diverse and dynamic set of financial services players. Open Standards like FAPI enable the easy to use, secure and privacy protecting solutions for clients, consumers and consumers worldwide.”


NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. FDATA Global is a not-for-profit global association for financial services companies operating in fintech. Our members provide innovative financial applications and services to empower customers to make better decisions and take fuller control of their financial lives across all their accounts, credit cards, loans and investments. We seek to work with government, regulatory authorities and the financial services industry in our mission to open up the financial sector all over the world to the benefits of financial data and technology. We have chapters in Europe, North America and Australia/New Zealand, with other territories being developed. www.fdata.global
  2. The OpenID Foundation promotes, protects and nurtures the OpenID community and technologies. It is a non-profit international standardization organization of individuals and companies committed to enabling, promoting and protecting OpenID technologies. Formed in June 2007, the foundation serves as a public trust organization representing the open community of developers, vendors, and users. OIDF assists the community by providing needed infrastructure and help in promoting and supporting expanded adoption of OpenID. This entails managing intellectual property and brand marks as well as fostering viral growth and global participation in the proliferation of OpenID. www.openid.net
  3. Images of Gavin Littlejohn and Don Thibeau can be downloaded via the links.
  4. For more information on FDATA contact Andy Maciver, Message Matters, +44 (0)7855 261 244, andy@messagematters.co.uk
  5. For more information on OIDF contact Don Thibeau atdirector@oidf.orgor Michelle Parkes at michelle.parkes@oidf.org
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