Retail Banks Ordered to Open Up APIs

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has called on the largest banks in the UK to develop a set of core open APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

The CMA said banks will be required to implement Open Banking by early 2018 to accelerate technological change in the UK retail banking sector as part of its reforms to banking.

The new rules follow on from its investigation into retail banking which was published in May 2016.

At the time the CMA said that the timely development and implementation of an open API banking standard has the greatest potential to transform competition into retail banking markets. 

The CMA’s retail banking investigation report stated: “We believe [the standard] would significantly increase competition between banks by making it easier for personal and business customers to compare what is offered by different banks, [as well as] by paving the way to the development of business models offering innovative services to customers.”

The CMA said it wants consumers and small businesses to be able to manage their accounts using a single banking app rather than running apps from each provider they use.

The CMA said the API would allow users to compare products on the basis of their own requirements, and has ordered banks to develop tools for small and medium-sized enterprisecustomers to help them select and see if they are eligible for bank loans.

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