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Government launches new inquiry to bolster competition

The Morrison government has commissioned a new inquiry into the Consumer Data Right, which aims to further empower consumers and “overcome” product switching barriers.

Commonwealth Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced the launch of an inquiry to further examine the functions of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) and its contribution to fostering innovation and competition.

The CDR regime is designed to provide consumers with the power to direct major banks to share their credit and debit card, deposit account and transaction account data with accredited service providers from 1 July 2020.

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The regime was originally scheduled to commence in February. However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced in December that it would push back the timeline to allow for “additional implementation work and testing to be completed” and “better ensure necessary security and privacy protections operate effectively”.

The CDR regime will be extended to mortgage and personal loan customers from 1 November 2020.

According to Treasury’s terms of reference, the new inquiry will make recommendations to the Treasurer on options on how the regime can be:

  • expanded beyond its current “read” access to include “write” access to enable customers to apply for and manage products;
  • leveraged with other frameworks to enhance security, efficiency and the consumer experience;
  • further used to overcome behavioural and regulatory barriers to allow consumers to conveniently and efficiently switch between products and providers; and
  • enhanced by considering global developments with respect to similar reforms.

The review will also consider findings from:

  • the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) New Payments Platform: Conclusions Paper;
  • the ACCC’s home loan price inquiry – particularly its proposed examination of obstacles to home loan switching;
  • the government’s response to the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry;
  • the practice developments internationally and in other industry sectors; and
  • competition, fairness, innovation, efficiency, regulatory compliance costs and consumer protection.

The inquiry will be headed up by Scott Farrell, partner at King & Wood Mallesons, who was charged with conducting the formative review that gave rise to the CDR regime.

Private sector stakeholders and industry, consumer and privacy advocates will be consulted as part of the review, with other interest parties invited to offer feedback to inform the final report and recommendations.

The report is due to be released in September, with an issue paper to be made available early this year for interested parties to provide input and feedback.

[Related: ACCC postpones CDR launch]

Government launches new inquiry to bolster competition
Josh Frydenberg
mortgagebusiness

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib is the news editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2017, Charbel completed internships with public relations agency Fifty Acres, and the Department of Communications and the Arts.

You can email Charbel on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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