NAB asks to not be disadvantaged in opening CDR up to new players

The bank is concerned it could be placed at a competitive disadvantage to benefit other industry participants if Australia's open banking regime is expanded.

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has asked the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology to consider the potential unfair treatment of the big four banks when discussing the expansion of the open banking regime's scope under the Consumer Data Right (CDR).

NAB is concerned that authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) could be placed at a "competitive disadvantage to benefit other industry participants," if other players are extended the same conditions.

"NAB supports open banking as it will give customers greater control over their own data, offer the potential for new ways for banks to innovate, and drive more competition in financial services," the bank wrote in a submission [PDF] to the committee's probe into the opportunities that fintech and regtech present to Australia.

See also: Australia's open banking regime: Generic product data available from 1 July

The CDR, through the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill, allows individuals to "own" their data by granting them open access to their banking, energy, phone, and internet transactions, in addition to gaining the right to control who can have it and who can use it.

The first sector that will have the CDR applied is banking, with telecommunications and energy soon to follow.

The red and black bank said it is undertaking "significant" work on the current implementation of read-only access for open banking under the CDR.

"In implementing open banking, NAB is focused on getting this right for customers and ensuring that safety is prioritised over speed; this is critical to ensuring long term success and confidence in the system," it told the committee.

"Any expansion of the scope of open banking to areas such as 'write access', as canvassed in the Issues Paper, should only occur after an assessment of whether the initial open banking regime working as expected."

NAB said such assessment should consider whether the intended outcomes are being achieved and what value customers are deriving from open banking.

Read also: ANZ asks for third party Consumer Data Right access

Offering an example, the bank said existing governance structure and accreditation requirements for the CDR would need to be considered in the context of an extension to "write access".

"A fundamental overarching principle in considering whether to expand the CDR is the importance of ensuring a level playing field for all participants under the CDR," NAB said.

"Authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) should not be placed at a competitive disadvantage to benefit other industry participants, but instead be required to compete with others under the same regulatory and legislative framework."

The delayed open banking regime is now scheduled for 1 July 2020.

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