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ACCC publishes CDR rules

The competition watchdog has published the framework governing the consumer data right, which includes rules around the sharing of interest rates, fees and charges and eligibility criteria for banking products.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has formally published the Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data Right) Rules.

The rules legally require the big four banks to share product reference data with accredited data recipients while also “giving legislative force” to consumer data sharing obligations in banking that become mandatory from 1 July 2020.

The product reference data shared by institutions under the framework would include information regarding interest rates, fees and charges and eligibility criteria for products like credit cards and mortgages.

The ACCC has outlined three ways in which consumers can obtain data under the new rules, which include:

  • Lodging a “product data request”: Any person may request a data holder to disclose CDR data in a machine-readable form, which relates to products offered by the data holder to the person who made the request. The data holder cannot impose conditions, restrictions or limitations of any kind on the use of the disclosed data.
  • Lodging a “consumer data request”: Requesting data that specifically relates to the consumer. The request is made directly to a data holder using a specialised online service provided by the data holder, disclosed in in human‑readable form.
  • Lodging a “consumer data request” on behalf of a consumer: An eligible CDR consumer may permit an accredited person to request a data holder to disclose, in machine-readable form, information that relates to the consumer. The accredited person may only collect and use CDR data in order to provide goods or services in accordance with a request from a CDR consumer.

Following the publication of the rules, ACCC commissioner Sarah Court commented: “Product reference data is vital for accredited data-receiving businesses to provide comparison services and potentially offer better deals to consumers.

“Having the consumer data right rules in place means that from July this year, when consumers choose to direct their bank to share their data with another accredited data recipient, the banks must do so.

“The making of the rules is a major milestone in delivering the consumer data right in banking.”

The release of the formal rules comes just a week after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the launch of an inquiry to further examine the functions of the Consumer Data Right and its contribution to fostering innovation and competition.

The regime was originally scheduled to commence in February. However, the 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”.

[Related: Government launches new inquiry to bolster competition]

ACCC publishes CDR rules
ACCC publishes CDR rules

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