FCAC assumes new role overseeing Canada's open banking

Its tasks are outlined

FCAC assumes new role overseeing Canada's open banking

With the recent passage of Bill C-69, the Budget Implementation Act 2024, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is officially tasked with overseeing Canada’s consumer-driven banking framework. The new framework, also known as open banking, marks a significant shift in how Canadians interact with their financial data and fintech companies.

Consumer-driven banking allows consumers to access and share their financial data with financial technology companies, enabling access to products and services aimed at improving financial management and well-being. These advancements may include applications that use transaction data to help consumers build their credit, thereby facilitating easier loan approvals, apartment rentals, and mortgage qualifications.

FCAC already supervises the compliance of federally regulated financial entities, including banks, with consumer protection measures outlined in legislation, public commitments, and codes of conduct. It also implements Canada’s National Financial Literacy Strategy in collaboration with various stakeholders across the financial ecosystem, including financial service providers, consumer advocacy groups, and provincial and territorial regulators. The agency’s research into consumer needs and behaviours informs policy recommendations and supports efforts to build financial resilience among Canadians.

New role to oversee open-banking operations

In its expanded authority, FCAC will continue to lead consumer awareness campaigns and provide resources to help Canadians navigate the financial marketplace.

“FCAC has a strong track record in consumer protection and the supervision of federally regulated financial institutions,” said Werner Liedtke, interim commissioner of the FCAC. “The agency has also led multiple consumer awareness campaigns to help Canadians navigate an increasingly digital financial marketplace. The evolution of our mandate over the past 23 years positions us to effectively oversee and promote an innovative and competitive framework that benefits all parties.”

The new framework aims to support innovation while ensuring robust consumer protections.

In June 2023, FCAC published a report based on public opinion research regarding Canadians’ awareness and understanding of open banking. The findings underscored the need for strong and consistent consumer protections to build trust and interest in consumer-driven banking. To further this goal, FCAC will develop a consumer awareness campaign with the $1 million in funding allocated to the agency in the 2024 federal budget.

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