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ACCC provides CDR exemptions

The competition watchdog has announced temporary exemptions under Consumer Data Right due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted three-month exemptions to financial services providers that are required to share product reference data by 1 July, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The temporary exemptions under the Consumer Data Right (CDR), until 1 October, will apply to non-major authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADI), including non-major banks, building societies and credit unions.

It will also extend to non-primary brand products offered by the major banks.

Product reference data includes information such as interest rates, fees and charges, and eligibility criteria for banking products like credit cards and mortgages.

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The major bank have been sharing this data since July 2019.

Commenting on the exemptions provided to financial services providers, ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said: “The ACCC is granting these exemptions as an acknowledgement of the intense resource requirements of the industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in particular non-major banks that may not be able to prioritise this at this time.”

“We understand that financial providers are dedicating many resources at present to support their customers. However, we do encourage providers to share product reference information on a voluntary basis if they are in a position to do so.”

New CDR consultation launched

The ACCC has also published a revised draft of the CDR rules for further consultation.

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The proposed amendments to the rules include clarifications on the types of accounts in scope for sharing consumer data, new rules on the function of the accreditation register and registrar, and rules relating to the use of the CDR logo.

The revised draft also proposes a withdrawal of consent to collect and use data and notification. This would come into effect where the consumer who provided consent to collect and use particular CDR data decides to withdraw it.

They can do this by using the accredited person’s consumer dashboard, or by using an alternative method of communication made available by the accredited person for that purpose.

The accredited person must give effect to the withdrawal as soon as practicable and, in any case, within two business days after receiving notification.

They must also, in any case, notify the data holder of the withdrawal in accordance with the data standards.

Interested parties have until 8 May to provide submissions in response to this consultation.

The proposed amendments following this consultation will come into effect from July.

The CDR, which underpins the open banking regime that came into effect on 1 July 2019, will enable individual and business consumers to access their own data or direct custodians to share their data with accredited entities such as banks, telecommunications companies, energy companies and comparison service providers to get tailored access to services and competitive deals.

Legislation to introduce the CDR passed both houses of Parliament in August last year.

The ACCC published the framework governing the CDR in February this year, and it includes rules around the sharing of interest rates, fees and charges, and eligibility criteria for banking products.

[Related: Government launches new inquiry to bolster competition]

ACCC provides CDR exemptions
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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