European Commission calls on EBA to rethink screen scraping ban

European Commission calls on EBA to rethink screen scraping ban

The EU's financial service head Vladis Dombrovskis is calling on the European Banking Authority to revisit its proposed ban on 'screen scraping' under the revised Payments Services Directive (PSD2).

The proposals to outlaw screen scraping in favour of bank-led access to client data under APIs were first trailed by the publication of the EBA's Regulatory Technical Standards for PSD2 in February.

The suggestion has led to an uproar among mature fintech startups, who have lobbied hard for a reversal of the decision, claiming that the reforms will provide banks with the means to control what data is shared, putting new entrants at a disadvantage.

Last week, the European Banking Federation joined the row, arguing that the privacy of client data, cybersecurity and innovation would all be at risk should the Commission force the EBA to backtrack on its plans.

In a speech on European financial integration delivered in Brussels on Friday, VP Dombrovskis called on the EBA not to ban screen scraping outright but to hold it in reverse as a back-up mechanism should bank interfaces fail to function properly.

"We are developing a comprehensive strategy on financial technology, to foster innovation while ensuring a level playing field," he told the audience. "We will therefore ask the European Banking Authority to have another look at the draft standards for data interfaces, and at proposals to allow fintechs access to the customer facing interface, whenever the dedicated interface breaks down or is not performing properly. This would safeguard the continuity of access for fintechs, while still allowing banks to require fintechs to use dedicated interfaces in normal conditions."

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