Financial Data and Technology Association’s submission to the FCA provides pathway to open access to aggregation services
The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA), the industry body for financial technology (fintech) companies which give consumers more control over their financial data, has submitted evidence to the FCA on its cash savings market study.
FDATA’s members – six of the leading companies in the industry – use security credentials shared by the user to aggregate their financial life in one place. Our members’ services include:
- aggregating savings and debts to create a holistic analysis of a consumer’s financial situation
- analysing whether it is more efficient to save or to pay off credit
- checking whether the savings or lending rate on a product can be bettered elsewhere
FDATA made the following points, amongst others, in its submission:
- the market for financial data aggregation is far more open and advanced in other countries, notably the US, than it is here in the UK
- large numbers of consumers are dissuaded from using our members’ services as a result of banks’ and financial institutions’ restrictive Ts&Cs
- there has been no single fraud or data security breach as a result of a UK aggregation service
- we want to coalesce the industry and create a set of minimum industry standards for operating as an aggregator in an open data era
The full submission can be read here.
Commenting, FDATA director Andy Maciver said:
“Our members provide an incredibly valuable service to the personal and small business markets, allowing them to manage all their accounts, of different types and with different providers, in one place.
“It is a testament to the services our members provide that they have built a large customer base despite many consumers’ banks and account providers attempting to frighten them off using aggregation.
“The era of openness in financial data must now be ushered in. We want consumers to benefit from our members’ services without being held in breach of terms and conditions and we want to be at the centre of a thriving new British fintech industry legitimised and underpinned by strict standards of practice.”
The Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA), the industry body for financial technology (fintech) companies which give consumers more control over their financial data, has welcomed the Treasury’s call for evidence on open data and open banking, and committed to responding to it.
The call for evidence was pledged in the Autumn report, which announced “support for fintech firms who want to use bank data to help consumers and small businesses make better decisions”.
Announcing the call for evidence, City Minister Andrea Leadsom MP highlighted the benefits to consumers of making it easier for them to use their data, a point with which FDATA wholeheartedly agrees.
Commenting, FDATA Director Peter Duncan said:
“We welcome this call for evidence and will be responding positively on behalf of the data aggregation industry to ensure that an era of open data can make it easier for consumers and small businesses to manage their money.”
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published its Cash savings market study, which covers both problems in the sector and proposed remedies.
One set of remedies, the Convenience Remedies, relate directly to the work of FDATA members in the area of financial data aggregation. FDATA has been in private discussions with the FCA and has welcomed the following extract from the report:
“This remedy would seek to lower barriers that restrict account aggregators (those providers offering facilities to manage accounts online, not price comparison websites) from offering account management services to consumers.”
Commenting on the report, which has asked for responses by 18th February, FDATA’s Director Andy Maciver said:
“This was a thorough and impressive piece of work and our members were delighted to see the proposed convenience remedies. Convenience, and the ability to manage money more easily and make better financial decisions, is the role which our member companies provide to personal and small business consumers.
“We look forward to submitting a reply to explain in full how we believe the FCA can help bring down the barriers in this market.”
Association for financial technology companies says their apps and services can revolutionise the way people control their finances
Today sees the launch of a new trade association to represent financial technology (‘fintech’) companies who aggregate account data to enable consumers to make better decisions and take control of their finances. The Financial Data and Technology Association – or FDATA – has six founder members who provide these innovative financial applications and services.
FDATA is being launched against the backdrop of the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2), which is currently being negotiated in Brussels. FDATA accepts that PSD2’s overarching objective is to create a situation where aggregator fintech companies can access data in order to provide a valuable service to consumers, however in its current draft form it contains both opportunities and threats for our members.
FDATA’s initial focus will involve working collaboratively with government, regulatory authorities and financial institutions to ensure that the whole industry acts in the best interests of consumers by allowing fintech companies to offer them a full service. The Association has described its approach during this phase as a ‘triple-lock’ of engaging in Brussels, engaging in Whitehall and engaging in the City.
The second phase of the Association’s evolution will be to formalise the technical and ethical minimum standards which will govern the industry. The Association intends to write those rules with the full involvement of government, regulatory authorities and financial institutions so that its members can, in effect, become a ‘white list’ of companies to whom banks can release data with full confidence.
Commenting, FDATA’s Director Andy Maciver said:
“Customers of banks and financial institutions in other countries have been enjoying the benefits of full financial control for years. We want the same for UK consumers.
“We were pleased to see the UK Government confirming its support for an opening-up of the market in last week’s recent Autumn Statement. Similarly, negotiations in Brussels have an encouraging basic aim, although the likely outcome remains uncertain.
“We have very simple twin aims: to bring the benefits of financial technology to the UK consumer, and to put in place a strict code of industry practice to ensure complete data security. Our industry must be underpinned by a reputation for data security, so we have as much incentive as the banks and financial institutions to put a bullet-proof system in place.
“We are looking to engage with financial institutions with immediate effect as part of our ‘triple lock’ of engagement in Brussels, Whitehall and the City. We want them to a see us as partners rather than opponents.
“Our members’ apps and services make it easier for consumers to make better financial decisions. It is now imperative that consumers be allowed to access their information in the way they choose. This revolution has been waiting too long.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Financial Data and Technology Association was formed in 2014 to pave the way for customers to have more control of their financial data. Our member companies provide innovative financial applications and services to empower consumers to make better decisions and take fuller control of their financial lives across all their accounts, credit cards, loans and investments.
2. FDATA’s current members are Money Dashboard, Moneyhub, QuickBooks, Runpath Digital, Safety Net Credit and Yodlee.
3. FDATA is online at www.fdata.org.uk and on twitter @fdataUK
The new Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA), which will formally launch later this month, has welcomed the commitment made to the financial data aggregation industry by the Government in its Autumn Statement.
In paragraph 1.171, the statement announced “support for fintech firms who want to use bank data to help consumers and small businesses make better decisions”.
Commenting, FDATA’s Director Andy Maciver said:
“This was a very welcome inclusion into the Autumn Statement, and a boost for our members and other companies who are trying to make it easier for people to manage their money. Apps and services like those of our members are available elsewhere in the world, and today the government has made it clear it wants to see them here, too.
“The government also announced today that there will be a call for evidence, and we look forward to playing a constructive part.”