Fintechs can apply for FCA approval for accessing data from top banks as Open Banking moves a step closer

Lynsey Barber
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Early Morning Views Over The River Thames
Firms wanting to use banks' customer data have to gain approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (Source: Getty)

Fintech startups are a step closer to getting their hands on customer data from some of the biggest high street banks in another move towards Open Banking.

Firms wanting to take advantage of account information being made available under rules outlined by the competition authority last year can apply to the Financial Conduct Authority from Friday.

Read more: City calls for fintech sector deal to ensure UK remains leader after Brexit

Third party firms will be able to build apps and other platforms and services with the data from January 2018, but must be regulated as account information services (AISPs) or payment initiation services (PISPs).

The Competition and Markets Authority last year told banks they must make data, from product prices to individual transactions, technically accessible by other company's following a major review into retail banking to boost competition and innovation.

Read more: Open Banking just came a step closer but the clock's ticking on a deadline

That means for example, an app created by a startup could access the best priced mortgage from any of the nine banks, including Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays RBS and Santander, or an accountant could be granted access to transaction information.

Fintechs will be able to access more than 90 per cent of the current account market in theory, though it will be up to each person to allow them access.

HSBC has already unveiled its own app ahead of the deadline through which it also plans to aggregate customers information from their accounts held with other banks to create a broader financial management app.

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