Morrison unveils open banking framework

The Federal Government's final report into open banking details 50 recommendations on how the new regime can succeed and ultimately empower consumers.

Last week, Treasurer Scott Morrison unveiled a list of proposals covering the regulatory framework, data safeguards and the mechanics of how open banking should be rolled out.

"Open banking will revolutionise the financial services sector, transforming the way Australians interact with the banking system by giving consumers the right to safely share their data with other banks, other institutions and innovative fintechs and get themselves a better deal," he said.

Granting third-party access to a customer's data (with their consent) will enable cheaper, better-tailored products, as well as enhanced access to banking services.

Morrison added it also promises to simplify the process of switching between banks and help overcome the 'hassle factor' that sees customers stay with their current bank even in the presence of more competitive deals elsewhere.

The report recommended the ACCC should be primarily responsible for standards-setting, competition and consumer issues, security measures and data transfer; an internal and external dispute resolution processes to resolve customer complaints should also be established.

Firms that hold the data should be obliged to share it at the customer's direction, the report said.

This covers deposit products such as term deposits; savings, transaction, cheque, mortgage offset, GST and tax accounts. Lending products include mortgages, personal loans and lines of credit.

Scott Farrell, a senior partner at King and Wood Mallesons, spearheaded the review, said improving the control, choice, convenience and confidence of customers should, in the longer term, create a customer-centric data sector which generates growth and employment.

"The new services, new products and new skills inspired by open banking which benefit customers are likely to be in demand not only in Australia but also overseas. Indeed, the pace of similar developments elsewhere in our region shows that this potential is already understood beyond our shores," he said.

FinTech Australia chair Stuart Stoyan welcomed the report and said the association has advocated the model includes an accreditation framework for data receivers to ensure consumer confidence in the security of their personal data.

"We are pleased to see the government has backed this idea," Stoyan said.

Read more: open bankingfintechFinTech AustraliaScott FarrellStuart StoyanTreasurer Scott MorrisonScott Morrison
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