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UK consumer groups want transparency with open banking plans

The U.K.'s leading consumer groups have joined forces to publish a Consumer Manifesto for open banking, making clear to policymakers and product providers the standards and priorities that are needed to make open banking work for consumers, according to a press release.

Among the 18 signatories are the U.K.'s leading consumer and policy experts, including AgeUK, Citizens Advice, the Money Advice Trust, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, StepChange Debt Charity and Which?

The Manifesto sets out five prerequisites for building trust with consumers and delivering the types of services they need and expect, according to the press release:

  • Open banking should be a force for good which promotes financial inclusion and widens access to more useful, affordable and understandable financial services for everyone.
  • Services should meet people’s positive expectations, be upfront about how they’re paid for and how they use personal data. They should be sold and delivered in a way which respects people’s identity, their data and their right to make the most of their money and live the lives they want to.
  • Open banking should genuinely equip people with real power to control access to their account and use of their data. People should be able to stop sharing access to their account easily without facing penalties.
  • Open banking should be reliable and as secure as it possibly can be. It should be clear to people with whom they are sharing their data and the legitimacy of those companies. Data breaches and fraud should be rare and exceptional, not the rule.
  • People, their identity and their money should be universally safe. People should not bear unfair risk. When things go wrong people should have simple, free, quick access to help and redress.

"There are enthusiasts for open banking among the consumer groups, but there are also skeptics," Faith Reynolds, who is the independent consumer representative to the Open Banking Implementation Entity, said in the release. "What we all agree on is the need for providers to demonstrate a commitment to good consumer outcomes in the form of safe, useful and affordable products. This is why we're publishing the manifesto."