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Parliament greenlights CDR bill

Legislation to introduce the Consumer Data Right has passed both houses of Parliament, in a move which, according to stakeholders, could “dramatically increase competition” in the financial services sector.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill officially passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate on Thursday, 1 August.

The Consumer Data Right (CDR) – which underpins the open banking regime that came into effect on 1 July – will enable individual and business consumers to access their own data or direct custodians to share their data with accredited entities such as banks, telcos, energy companies and comparison service providers to get tailored access to services and competitive deals.

The CDR will first apply to the banking sector, with the energy and telecommunications sectors expected to follow in the coming years. 

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) welcomed the passage of the bill, and with CEO Anna Bligh echoing remarks made by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who noted the benefits of the CDR on competition and innovation.

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Ms Bligh commented: “Empowering customers with the ability to use their data to drive a better deal on banking products has the potential to dramatically increase competition and foster innovation across the industry.

“Passing this legislation for the Consumer Data Right provides the foundation for these reforms to be delivered.”

Ms Bligh said that she expects the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to issue the ‘lock-down’ version of the rules governing the system by the end of August, upon which stakeholders will begin testing the new system.

“Following the passage of the legislation and the ACCC guidance on the rules, the industry, together with regulators, will begin rigorous testing to ensure the system is safe for Australian bank customers to use,” she said.

“The industry will continue to work with the government in the final stage of the introduction of open banking to deliver a system which both increases competition and ensures data is kept secure.”

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The CDR will be regulated by the ACCC and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, with a new Data Standards Body developing transfer and security standards.

[Related: Treasurer renews push for CDR approval]

Parliament greenlights CDR bill
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