The UK's open banking sector has created 4800 jobs and is valued at £4.1 billion, according to research conducted by the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), which nonetheless cautions that industry is at a "vital crossroads".
The policy group has based its analysis on data from 82 fintechs active in the open banking sector. The value of the ecosystem was determined by the post-money valuations of firms that raised venture capital funding between 2009 and 2022.
Last year, the open banking sector in the UK raised over £886m and the median value of a UK open banking firm in the period was £16m.
The report notes that open banking has clearly been a success in the UK so far, with over seven million users and 50% of SMEs having used open banking services.
Yet despite its size, Coadec believes the industry is at a critical juncture, and is calling for urgent clarity on the future regulatory direction of open banking in the UK.
Last year, 17 top fintechs and Coadec, in a letter to the FCA, said that while the UK’s progress on open banking was once “the envy of the world”, its future was now “uncertain” due to a lack of direction from Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee (JROC). While the JROC is expected to lay out its vision for UK Open Banking over the next week or so, it is still unclear what the immediate next steps will be, says Coadec.
Coadec believes that the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) must continue past April 2023 in order to safeguard the integrity of the sector. However, the policy group is clear that an evolutionary step to 'Open Finance' requires political action, starting with a Treasury consultation on an Open Finance scheme, in anticipation of Smart Data becoming law over the coming months.
“The growth of open banking has been a UK led marvel," says Luke Kosky, fintech policy lead at Coadec. "However, we now face a critical sink or swim moment for the industry. We have seen this industry grow to over £4 billion within 5 years and with proactive support and regulation the possibilities for open banking are endless.”