Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedApril 18, 2024

Open Finance: EU Parliament Committee Limits Consumer Choice, Hurts Competition, and Stifles Innovation to Shield Incumbents

Brussels, BELGIUM – Today, the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) adopted its position on the Financial Data Access Regulation (FiDA), which opens up access to financial data to bring users more innovative financial services and stimulate competition in the financial sector.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) expresses profound concern at the Committee’s unfounded intention to exclude innovative players from this market. This suggested exclusion comes despite the existence of strong safeguards and supervision, as well as significant barriers to entry, since only licensed entities will be able to access the data in the first place.

The blanket exclusion of companies designated as ‘gatekeepers’ under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) from this new market is a clearly disproportionate and discriminatory attempt at protecting incumbents, in this case large banks and insurance companies.

CCIA Europe notes that this prohibition has been wrongfully inspired by the Data Act, taken out of context, and applied to a regulation with very different objectives. Unlike the Data Act, FIDA creates a specific licensing regime for data users and introduces strong data privacy safeguards. This prohibition could create a dangerous precedent for unilaterally excluding companies from markets for no clear reason.

In practice the Committee’s decision will deprive users of useful and innovative services by limiting their choice to services developed by incumbent companies in a sector that sorely needs innovation and competition.

CCIA Europe calls on the EU Parliament and Council to firmly reject this unfounded, blanket market exclusion.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Senior Policy Manager, Boniface de Champris:

“The outright exclusion of innovative companies from a market touted as ‘open finance’ contradicts the very essence of the regulation and ultimately harms consumers. This is market exclusion, not open finance.”

“The ECON Committee creates an unlevel playing field by denying innovative new entrants access to financial data, while depriving European consumers of their data protection rights. Institutions should not be selecting companies to run closed markets.”

“We encourage all MEPs to stand by the main purpose of the FIDA proposal, which is to enhance competition, promote choice, and empower consumers. The ECON Committee has today chosen large financial corporations over open innovation.”