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OU personal finance expert signs new open banking Consumer Manifesto

3 May 2018

A new Consumer Manifesto has been launched for open banking, making clear to policymakers and product providers the standards and priorities that are needed to make open banking work for consumers.

The Manifesto has been signed by 18 of the UK’s leading consumer and policy experts, including The Open University’s Jonquil Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Economics and Personal Finance.

Jonquil commented: "Open banking was launched in January and allows customers to share their banking data - including transactions - with third parties. It's opening the way to new apps and services that will help us manage our money better, improve access to credit and automate tasks like shopping around. It has the potential to be a force for good, but also the risk that consumers' data will be exploited. That's why, as members of the Open Banking Consumer Forum, we have supported this manifesto. Let's set the ground rules now to make sure open banking works for consumers not against them."

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

  • 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.

The Manifesto was launched on 1 May by the consumer groups at a convention with financial technology companies which has been organised by Finance Innovation Lab and the Open Banking Implementation Entity to discuss how open banking can help solve long-standing consumer problems.

The Manifesto was coordinated by Faith Reynolds, Independent Consumer Representative to the Open Banking Implementation Entity. She praised the efforts of the consumer groups: “There are enthusiasts for open banking among the consumer groups, but there are also sceptics. 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. If we can work with the industry to deliver on the five principles of the manifesto, everyone should win.”

Other signatories include AgeUK, Citizens Advice, the Money Advice Trust, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, StepChange Debt Charity and Which?

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