UK’s Strategic Working Group for Open Banking unveils ‘strategy sprints’

Ellie Duncan
31 Aug 2022

The Strategic Working Group (SWG) under the Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee (JROC) has revealed its plans for a series of virtual thematic “strategy sprints”, designed to collate views on the vision and strategic roadmap for the development of UK Open Banking.

Each strategy sprint will focus on one of the three key areas identified by JROC: unlocking the potential of Open Banking payments, promoting further data sharing in an Open Banking framework, and ensuring a sustainable Open Banking ecosystem.

SWG has been tasked with gathering industry and stakeholder insight to shape the future of Open Banking in the UK.

It comprises industry representatives, subject matter experts and other stakeholders, including consumers and businesses and will operate from August until December this year.

The members of the SWG will be expected to take part in the Open Banking ecosystem strategy sprint, while two expert panels will be set up to lead the payments strategy sprint and the data strategy sprint, according to the latest announcement.

Each strategy sprint will run over the course of three weeks, starting with a one-hour “kick-off” session and followed by a two-hour sprint discussion agenda.

In all, there will be two rounds of strategy sprints in each of the thematic areas over the next few months.

In a post on LinkedIn, Jack Wilson, head of public policy at TrueLayer, called it an “ambitious” series of sprints and expert panels.

Jack Wilson

TrueLayer’s head of public policy Jack Wilson

He wrote: “The ‘Strategic Working Group’ under JROC will produce a report on how Open Banking can be developed beyond current requirements.

“JROC has set expectations on areas the report should cover. These areas (ranging from gaps in standards to consideration of ESG) are very broad and could possibly bog the work down.”

Wilson added that, instead, the focus should be on “existing blockers and risks to Open Banking success”, such as “preventing the wind-down of OBIE at the end of its roadmap” and “requiring banks to support VRP beyond simple sweeping use cases to unlock competition”.

Earlier this month, the Financial Conduct Authority and Payments System Regulator appointed Bryan Zhang as independent chair. He is co-founder and executive director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Listen to what TrueLayer’s Wilson had to say about Open Banking’s progress in the UK on the Open Banking Expo Unplugged podcast, and why communication and transparency from JROC and the future Open Banking entity in the UK are crucial to its success.