OBE warns UK could lose Open Banking global top spot

open banking
open banking

Open Banking Excellence (OBE) has published a new study revealing that the UK is on the verge of losing it’s Open Banking leadership status.   

The report titled ‘The Global Open Finance Index’ takes a deep dive into the global state of Open Banking and compiles data gathered from more than 400 Open Finance experts across a total of 23 countries.  

In a statement, CEO and Founder of OBE Helen Child, gave a brief summary about which of these nations are beginning to evolve into a competitive Open Banking force that could potentially overthrow the UK from its reign in the sector. 

“The Open Banking space represents a huge export opportunity for UK firms,” she said. 

“UK tech companies have the knowledge and experience to support countries across the world to positively impact their economy, society and environment, whilst at the same time addressing an export-lead market that has been estimated to be worth up to $416bn per year by the end of the decade.

“That position is now at risk, due to a stagnant situation at home combined with enormous acceleration in the pace of global competition meaning there’s a real challenge to that leadership position we’ve enjoyed.

“India’s roll-out has created a group of more than a billion accounts accessible in the same standard. Members of our OBE community in Brazil reached five million connected accounts in one fifth of the time it took the UK, and Australia is already forging ahead with Open Energy. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels; we need focus.”

Child went on to highlight some of the areas where she believes this focus should be aimed at by calling for the bringing forward of a new data bill to Parliament that is currently “sitting in a drawer”. 

Secondly, all uncertainties around the governance of Open Banking should be timely resolved, which Child believes is currently being done but is still away from being finished.

The third step to be taken according to OBE’s CEO is to “bake regulatory passporting into future trade agreements”. When all the above is completed, only then will ‘the door open’ for UK tech firms to take a leading role in the global financial evolution, Child said. 

Part of the study’s data was outsourced by UK businesses Accenture and NatWest, who agree that while regulatory mandates are necessary for the establishment of early ecosystems, partners should also establish mutually beneficial arrangements for these ecosystems to thrive. 

Zack Anderson, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at NatWest, commented: “At NatWest, we’ve sought to champion the potential of Open Banking from its earliest days, as we’ve always seen it as being far more than a response to new banking regulations. 

“For us, it’s been an exciting opportunity to create a digitised, API-enabled bank that helps our customers access our services in the ways that are most convenient to them.

“Now, with the advent of Open Finance, we see an even greater opportunity for industry participants to collaborate and co-create embedded services that drive the digital economy.”

Accenture’s Managing Director and Open Finance Lead, Amit Mallick, added: “Advancements in technology – including APIs, data and analytics – are driving the open finance wave, leading to enhanced and real time financial services experiences for both consumers and businesses. 

“Accenture is committed to working with regulators and others to shape standards and support widespread adoption of open finance solutions and ecosystems.”