Paul Lindsell: Could 'open banking' data spark financial services innovation?

Increasing choice and competition

clock • 4 min read

For years the UK government has tried to open the banking sector to more competition, writes Paul Lindsell, but a new initiative may finally see this become a reality benefiting a huge range of firms including financial advisers.

The goal of fostering more banking competition has a long and rather chequered history. Pre-financial crisis, the emphasis was on building up rivals to the big four, though the crisis itself has clearly put paid to this strategy. In the last seven years, policymakers have instead made it much easier to set up new banks - around 20 such ‘challenger' banks now operate in the UK with perhaps 10 more offering payment and banking-style services. This has been accompanied by initiatives that allow much easier switching of current accounts. The main banks now operate a current account seven-...

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