Commenting on the findings of the CMA report Louise Beaumont, Head of Public Affairs at GLI Finance said:
“The Open Bank Working Group was set up in 2015 to develop a roadmap for how technology and innovation could reshape the banking sector. Having sat on that taskforce, I’m delighted to see our recommendations being taken so seriously by the CMA and our hope is that they will continue to exert pressure on traditional banks to harness the power of technology to provide SMEs with quicker and broader access to the range of financial products they need to help fuel growth. Make no mistake, this report marks the coming of age of FinTech and we must ensure that all stakeholders embrace the potential benefits this can deliver to customers.
“The report also has significant consequences for the alternative finance sector as a whole, providing a shop window in which SMEs can obtain a market-wide view of the finance options available to them. Combined with the progress made through the implementation of the Government’s bank referral scheme these measures will help raise awareness of niche providers who are able to offer the right types of specialist product, quickly and at an appropriate price to the SME.
“Whilst the measures on overdrafts should be welcomed, we must not forget that this shift is taking place against a backdrop of SME overdrafts being significantly scaled back by traditional banks, a move which is starving many businesses of a vital source of oxygen as they seek to weather a very difficult economic climate. Our hope is that through effective implementation these various measures will combine to not only deliver significantly better outcomes for customers but also help play a role in injecting genuine competition to deliver much needed economic growth as UK plc adjusts to a post-Brexit environment.”