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Regulator warns slow movers in open banking

Banks that have not met their open banking obligations by November will risk facing enforcement action, the ACCC has cautioned.

Phase two of the consumer data regime (CDR), or open banking, is scheduled to start from November, which will see banks become required to share consumer data around housing loans, mortgage offset accounts and personal loans.

It has followed phase one, which focused on data around products such as savings accounts, term deposits, cheque, debit card and transaction accounts; personal credit or charge accounts; GST or tax accounts, call accounts, personal basis accounts; and business credit or charge card accounts.

However, in an update from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the regulator noted a number of data holders are not yet active on its CDR Register (which lists accredited data recipients and holders) and also have not yet met their phase one consumer data-sharing obligations.

The watchdog has referred to its right to take enforcement action to address non-compliance with CDR with consumer data-sharing obligations.

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Data holders who are not active on the CDR Register by 1 November, without an exemption in place, will be considered non-compliant with both the phase one and two consumer data-sharing obligations.

“We expect data holders to promptly rectify any areas of non-compliance or risk facing an investigation and potential enforcement action,” a CDR updates newsletter distributed from Treasury stated.

There is a range of enforcement options available to the regulator, including administrative resolutions, infringement notices, court-enforceable undertakings and court proceedings.

“While we acknowledge that data holders are working to meet their obligations and that many have been impacted by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and third party supplier delays, the CDR is an important competition and consumer reform,” the ACCC updates read.

“CDR should be considered a fundamental compliance obligation when offering in-scope banking products. Late delivery of consumer data sharing functionality directly impacts consumers.”

The regulator said it “expects” that data holders have already commenced sharing consumer data, declaring technology incidents and defects that impact data sharing should be “rectified immediately”.

The third phase will zero in on overdrafts (personal and business), business finance, investment loans, lines of credit (personal and business), cash management accounts, farm management accounts, pensioner deeming accounts, retirement savings accounts, trust account, foreign currency accounts and consumer leases.

Phase three for consumer data sharing will kick off from February next year.

New data recipients

The consumer data regime also has three new accredited data recipients: National Australia Bank (NAB), data company Fiskil and payments firm Split Payments (which trades as Zepto).

The new additions take the number of data recipients to 16, while there are now 50 active data holders sharing consumers data, which consist of 32 banks and 18 other brands.

Data recipients are able to offer services under the scheme, while providers accredited as data holders are only able to share data.

Currently CBA is the only other major bank besides NAB to hold the data recipient accreditation, in addition to the only non-major bank, Regional Australia Bank.

[Related: Australians less likely to apply online for mortgages]

Regulator warns slow movers in open banking
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