Banks given D-Day for open data sharing

Elizabeth Barry 29 November 2016

banks sharing open data

The recommendation of data sharing was announced by the House Economics Committee in its new report.

Off the back of the parliamentary inquiry into banking, the House of Representatives Standing Economic Committee has made a number of recommendations to the government, which includes that banks be forced to open access to consumer and small business data.

If the recommendations are introduced, banks would be required to provide open data access by July 2018, which would make it easier for third parties to develop new apps.

The Committee also recommends that ASIC develop a binding framework to facilitate the data sharing to make use of APIs (application programming interfaces) and ensure privacy safeguards are in place.

Committee chairman David Coleman MP said this report would be the first of a series.

“The financial stability of our system is critical – but so is ensuring that consumers get a fair deal. The Committee has identified a wide range of areas in which banking regulation can be improved to better serve the Australian community."

"Banks need to be held to account for their actions."

The report also recommended the creation of a banking tribunal by 1 July 2017 and a new, permanent regulatory function to monitor competition in the banking sector day-by-day.

This recommendation differs from a recent report from the Productivity Commission, which would see consumers in more control of their data and able to ask their data to be sent to third parties.

The Economics Committee, meanwhile, is expecting to hold its next public hearing with the major banks in the first quarter of next year. This will follow its scheduled public hearing with the Reserve Bank on 24 February 2017.

Coleman said the committee is waiting on the government's response to the recommendations.

"As we continue our ongoing review of the banking sector, we look forward to the Government’s response to the recommendations contained in the Report.”

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