Competition and Markets Authority hands over control of open banking unit after series of scandals Business

The competition regulator has handed over its oversight of Britain’s open banking unit to the city’s watchdog after facing heavy criticism following a series of scandals.

The Financial Conduct Authority will lead a new committee, alongside the payments regulator, which will be responsible for regulating open banking technology and overseeing the transition of the Open Banking Implementing Entity (Obie) to a new body. permanent.

Obie was set up in 2016 as part of a state-backed effort to encourage big banks to share customer information to boost competition and the Competition Markets Authority was tasked with overseeing the process. ‘business.

However, the unit was engulfed in a bullying scandal that led to the resignation of its president last October.

The Telegraph has since revealed details of the mistreatment of Obie staff, including on-the-spot firings, verbal abuse, sexism and a culture of cocaine use.

The CMA will be represented on the new committee but will cede its lead role in oversight of open banking regulation to the FCA. The Treasury will also be represented.

A city source who previously worked with Obie said: ‘The CMA is effectively washing its hands of open banking and handing it over to the FCA and the payment systems regulator.’

In October, an independent report found that a “toxic culture” of bullying and bullying existed in Obie.

He also hit out at the AMC and the banks that funded the unit, saying they failed to put in place proper governance mechanisms from the start and failed to act when problems arose.

Since the report was published, The Telegraph has revealed that Alison White, the expert called in to root out the scandal, condemned the CMA’s handling of the investigation in a scathing 10-page letter to regulator leaders.

The new regulatory committee will work with Obie to oversee the sector, but the unit’s future remains uncertain as watchdogs and the Treasury consider creating a new entity with a “sustainable” funding model.

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of CMA, said: “CMA has carefully considered appropriate future arrangements to stimulate open banking so that its significant benefits can be realized even more widely. We have set out today the fundamental principles that will enable the new entity to take the reins successfully. »

Henk Van Hulle, Obie’s new chief executive, said: “We have already made positive organizational, governance and operational changes to ensure we are best placed to move these arrangements forward.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-25 17:57:25

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