Online account aggregation service will not be regulated, the FSA warned yesterday, however an e-...
Online account aggregation service will not be regulated, the FSA warned yesterday, however an e-commerce study to be published by the regulator next month will take a closer look at its implications for consumers.
To date, there are very few UK financial services firms offering account aggregation, such as the Woolwich with its Open Plan and Moneysupermarket.com, however, several big name financial services companies - such as Fidelity Fundsnetwork - are developing account aggregation systems.
Account aggregation - or screen scraping as it is otherwise known in the e-finance industry - allows the consumer to view all of their investment, banking and financial services on a single page, providing their information is accessible on the web.
Speaking at a conference in London yesterday, Phillip Thorpe, FSA managing director, said the FSA will have no powers to regulate the provision of account aggregation, so consumers cannot be protected when things go wrong or their financial details are unwittingly released.
"We have been examining the issues raised by the development of aggregation services as part of a wider review of the risks presented by e-commerce in financial services," said Thorpe.
"These services enable consumers to view any number of online accounts - from bank accounts to reward schemes such as airmiles - in a single location on the Web. Many types of firm, such as banks and Internet portals, could potentially provide an aggregation service and it is known that several firms are planning to launch services in the UK. We therefore feel it is important to set out the regulatory position now."
The FSA has been looking at the implications of account aggregation services, as part of a one-year study into e-commerce and its impact on the UK financial services industry. Results of this study will finally be published in a discussion paper in June, and will include further comments on account aggregation.
The FSA will also publish information and advice for consumers who use the internet for financial services' business.
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