Government commits to open data strategy

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Federal government has announced a phased implementation of an open data regime, commencing in the banking industry, which will give clients greater access to their own data.

In a statement, Treasurer Scott Morrison said making data more available to clients will “transform the competitive landscape” in the banking industry by allowing clients to request their data be safely transferred to other service providers.

“Customers will be able to use their new data rights to find better deals on their credit cards, mortgages and other banking products,” Mr Morrison said.

“Comparison services will be better able to assess the value and suitability of all available products, taking into account the individual circumstances and needs of the customer. This will help to break down barriers that see customers staying with their banks even when there are better deals elsewhere.”

Mr Morrison said government is working to a “challenging but realistic timeframe” to implement the changes.

“Open Banking will be phased in with the aim that all major banks will make data available on credit and debit card, deposit and transaction accounts by 1 July 2019 and mortgages by 1 February 2020. Data on all products recommended by the Review will be available by 1 July 2020,” he said.

“All remaining banks will be required to implement Open Banking with a 12-month delay on timelines compared to the major banks. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be empowered to adjust timeframes if necessary.”

The Australian Banking Association welcomed the announcement, with ABA chief executive Anna Bligh commenting that it was important these reforms are handled appropriately.

“The industry is pleased that the Government has outlined a phased introduction that enables it to design a good system the will both benefit customers and protect their data,” she said in a statement.

“Banks are committed to delivering this reform within the tight timeframe and are looking forward to seeing further details contained in the draft legislation as soon as possible.”

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