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Open finance could boost UK GDP by £30.5 billion says CFIT CEO

Open finance could boost UK GDP by £30.5 billion says CFIT CEO

The Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT) has published its report on the benefits of open finance in line with the Kalifa Review.

Finextra spoke exclusively with CFIT CEO Ezechi Britton about the key takeaways from this review.

CFIT led an open finance coalition with over 60 finance partners as part of this report. This included Citizens Advice, Experian, EY, the FCA, FDATA, HSBC, IBM, Iwoca, KPMG, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, Monzo, and Revolut.

Britton says that from reviewing a number of studies they found that “delivering open finance and personal data mobility could boost UK GDP by £30.5 billion.”

Britton links their key findings to two proofs-of-concept. The first is that open finance can provide more SME lending. According to CFIT, a pilot with HSBC UK demonstrated that accessing new datasets and auto-populating business loan applications can lead to a significant boost in SME lending decisions. CFIT reports that a quarter of businesses from a sample of SMEs whose loan applications had been referred for manual underwriting, could be given access to finance had open finance been in place. Additionally, they found it could lead to fewer SMEs giving up on applications.

The second is a dashboard with Citizens Advice. “Increasing the automation of manual processes, debt advice agencies would be able to support more people in dealing with financial problems,” Britton says. They found open finance could allow for an extra 150,000 people a year to get advice.

These proofs-of-concept are being shared with the UK fintech and financial services industries to build into prototypes. They have identified further use cases of retirement and pensions, savings and investments, Digital ID and cash flow management.
Britton outlines a number of their recommendations from the report, including developing the above case studies and an open finance roadmap. He adds: “We need to identify a commercially viable approach to incentivise participants to share financial data.”

The report recommends the creation of three different bodies going forward. Britton says: “We need to empower an accountable body to advance the open finance agenda. There's lots going on with JROC and with open banking at the moment, but there needs to be a home for open finance in the future.”

A consent and authentication working group is the second of these bodies recommended. Britton notes that this is something being worked on across several government departments, and they don’t want to “duplicate” those efforts.

The final body recommended is to establish a task force to prioritise the development of open finance APIs to run in parallel to the current open banking JROC work streams.

When asked what open finance could learn from the open banking process, Britton comments: “I think the most important thing that we can recognise is that open banking has hit a bit of a crossroads. It has stalled. There's a lot of discussions going on about how to take that forward. A lot of focus on some very specific use cases. And that's challenging. I think we've got to be willing, as an industry, to take the next steps and not just wait for open banking.”

Looking to the next steps Britton adds: “We continue to work with industry and work with Treasury to make these working groups and this task force a reality, to be able to take these proof-of-concepts forwards, and we'll be continuing to work with all the various coalition partners to do that. Ultimately, it's about working with our regional partners to demonstrate and roll out the value of open finance across the UK.”

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 29 February, 2024, 10:20Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I would love to know how anyone can get to a projection of £30.5 billion. It is pie-in-the-sky.