Government maintains its open banking deadlines
(13 June 2019 – Australia) The government’s adherence to its open banking timeline has left the major banks scrambling after progress slowed when the banks assumed Labor would win the election and redraft the law.
Federal Treasury confirmed the timeline it set down in December with the first stage of open banking to begin on July 1, with banks expected to publish generic product information via an application programming interface (API) to allow it to be read by a computer so products can be easily compared. Real customer data is then set to flow on February 1.
At a meeting on Wednesday between the four major banks, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the regulator, and Data61, the standards setting body, Treasury told the banks it was maintaining the timelines even though some banks argue more time is needed to settle the final rules and technical standards.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wrote to the big-four chief executives just before the election to re-iterate the Coalition would legislate the consumer data right (CDR) but it is understood several majors slowed work on the complex project because they expected Labor to win the election and then redraft the law as part of a more comprehensive, Europe-style privacy regime. This process could have taken several years.