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CFIT to chair industry-led Open Finance Taskforce announced by UK Government

Summary of Development

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Bim Afolami MP, has announced a new industry-led task force, to be chaired by the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT), that will endeavour to unlock the full potential of Open Finance.

The task force will build on the foundational work done by CFIT’s industry-wide coalition on Open Finance, by providing recommendations to the UK Government on how financial data can be safely unlocked to improve SMEs’ access to credit.

The creation of this industry-led taskforce, with the support of HM Treasury, advances a number of the key recommendations set out by CFIT in its Blueprint Report published in February 2024 as the priority next steps for driving forward the Open Finance agenda. The taskforce will have a mandate to identify and prioritise more use cases for Open Finance, data sets to be unlocked and APIs to be created to facilitate better SME finance availability. It will also identify commercially viable approaches to incentivise businesses to securely share their financial data, before considering appropriate next steps towards implementing any agreed recommendations.
The announcement comes at the start of UK FinTech Week, as the industry convenes at the tenth annual Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) at the historic Guildhall in the City of London. CFIT’s CEO, Ezechi Britton MBE, and Chair, Charlotte Crosswell OBE, will both be speaking at the event on what CFIT and the wider industry respectively have already achieved and must now look to do next to advance the UK along its journey from Open Banking to Open Finance and then onwards to Open Data.

Ezechi Britton MBE, CEO of the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology, said: “Britain has long led the way when it comes to innovation in financial services, and Open Finance is the next great opportunity for our economy. So we’re delighted to have been invited by the EST to chair a new industry-led taskforce of leading financial institutions and technology companies. CFIT was founded last year to unblock the barriers to the growth of the UK fintech industry and today’s announcement will ensure we continue to keep up the momentum.”

Other key recommendations contained within the Blueprint Report published by CFIT in late February related to taking forward the Proofs of Concept (PoCs) built by its industry-wide coalition with Citizens Advice and HSBC to show the real-world impact of Open Finance on vulnerable consumers and on increasing SME lending volumes. CFIT has been engaged in discussions with various partners about how these PoCs can be scaled and also expects to make an announcement on this workstream in the near future.