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Do challenger banks need to collaborate on Open Banking?

Tom Belger | 07:30 Wednesday 21st March 2018

Collaboration between challenger banks on Open Banking could be a powerful message to consumers and the established players, according to an expert at a recent event.

Hosted by Newgate Communications at its central London offices, a panel discussion looked at what had changed within the banking market 10 years on from the global financial crisis.

The panel featured: Philip Acton, CEO at CivilisedBank; Jon Hall, managing director at Masthaven; Graham Olive, deputy CEO at OakNorth; Damien Burke, partner and head of regulatory at 4most; and Gary Wilkinson, CEO at Redwood Bank.

The panel was asked how challenger banks were taking on the big banks and the impact they were having on the market.

Damien discussed whether there was a way for challenger banks to collaborate to give a wholehearted push on Open Banking.

“If there was some way to collaborate on Open Banking, first of all in terms of what sort of products and services you wanted to offer through that, again – thinking about the consumer – there is no point everyone fighting for [the] same piece of the [pie].

“And then secondly, in terms of consumer awareness, I would suggest probably that on an individual basis none of you have the funds to spend lobbying and advertising for consumers and making sure that they are aware that they need to opt in for this for you to gain a competitive advantage.

“But if you guys were to collaborate, and [put together] a fund to actually make sure that the consumer is aware and billboards saying: 'Guys do you want a better rate on an overdraft? Do you want a more flexible facility which looks like a credit card, but you don't have the physical plastic', for example.

“If you want that, you need to opt into this scheme and I think that would be a really powerful message to both the consumer and also the established players and they would have to stand up and take you guys seriously.”

However, Gary claimed that bankers traditionally had been very reluctant to collaborate, particularly compared with building societies.

“Building societies have always had much more willingness to share and banks haven't, and I don't [personally see] that they will on this, certainly if there is a competitive advantage with not doing it, then I can see a resistance.

“The big banks don't want to let people in and they're the ones with the funds.

“But I think it will happen…rather than one [silver] bullet: you collaborate, we lobby, then suddenly everything will fall into place.”

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