Payments UK played a key part in the joint industry and Government “Open Banking Working Group”,  which was set up to deliver a framework for the design and development on two specific themes: data sharing via an open standard (an ‘open API’), and open data related to non-personal data that could be made available publicly. 

The Open Banking Working Group (OBWG) included industry experts from banking, open data, consumer and business communities to ensure a diverse range of expert views were represented, and actively sought input from any interested party.
 
The OBWG has produced Introducing the Open Banking Standard report outlining its recommendations for designing open standards and recommendations for implementation. It highlights how customers can have more control over their data, and how to create an environment which supports creating value from its usage. 

Payments UK has participated to help ensure that the best outcomes are secured for UK customers and that any recommendations are considered alongside emerging European regulatory requirements from the revised Payments Services Directive 2 (PSD2). PSD2 was published in December 2015 and overlaps in some key areas with the Government’s aspirations.  

Background to this work
In autumn 2014 HM Treasury (HMT) published a report by Fingleton Associates and the Open Data Institute on APIs and Open Data in UK Banking. It asked what benefits an increase in open data in banking could bring to consumers and, in particular, how an open API standard in UK banking could best be delivered. In February 2015, HMT published a consultation on Open Data and Data Sharing (APIs). In the March Budget statement, HMT published its statement on the consultation and next steps. 
 
The Government agreed that the next steps should be progressed by an Open Banking Working Group (OBWG), bringing together a wide range of relevant stakeholders - including representatives from banking, fintechs, consumer bodies and government - to look at the issue in more detail. 

More information and FAQs can be found on the Open Data Institute’s website.