Monday 24 May 2021 8:56 am

HSBC and Barclays call for open banking reform over higher costs

UK banks are reportedly unhappy with the high costs associated with open banking reforms which force them to share data with rivals in a bid to increase competition. 

Open banking is the UK’s implementation of the EU’s revised directive on payment services, which was introduced in 2015. 

UK regulated banks are required to let customers share their financial data, including spending habits and regular payments, with budgeting apps or other banks. 

It is said to make it easier for consumers to make the switch between banks but it has faced criticism for adding unnecessary extra bureaucracy in what is an already heavily regulated industry.

The Competition and Markets Authority recently launched a consultation on the future of  open banking and what oversight and governance should be put in place. 

Barclays has bemoaned the fact it has had to fork out a significant amount of money on open banking, the Telegraph reported. 

“The spend on implementing the open banking remedy to date has been significantly higher than the amounts foreseen and taken into account by the CMA in its original 2016 assessment,” the bank said. Additionally it said the changes had taken between five to six years to implement, despite the watchdog claiming the costs would be spread over two. 

HSBC also called for a shake-up of the rules and big banks should have the ability to “encourage cost discipline that has not existed to date”. 

Figures from the bank lobby group UK Finance show the UK’s nine biggest lenders were asked to contribute £26m to the promotion of open banking reforms this year alone. 

Nationwide has also encouraged the CMA to consider smaller banks contribute towards the costs to “minimise the issue of free-riding”.