Press Releases

Open Banking can help kick start lending – Equifax comments

Robert McKechnie, Open Banking Expert at Equifax UK, underlines the pivotal role of Open
Banking amid the COVID-19 crisis:

“COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on many people’s finances, altered consumer behaviour and
disrupted working environments. As we navigate a path out of the lockdown, Open Banking has the
capacity to support financially vulnerable people, kick start lending and enable the financial
services sector to adjust to a state of altered normality.

“Across the UK the impact on personal finances has been severe, with over four million people
taking emergency payment freezes* and nine million on furlough**. Sadly, over the next few months
many will suffer further income shocks, and inevitably fall into arrears. During this period, Open
Banking, and its use of up-to-date bank transaction data, will be integral in giving lenders an
extremely accurate and detailed picture of a consumer’s finances. This allows them make more
informed decisions around credit and affordability, and identify financially vulnerable people who
need support.

“Once the economy starts to recover, the extra level of real-time data and insight Open Banking
offers will be vital to restore lenders’ confidence and reinvigorate the supply of credit for
businesses and individuals. This will have a positive knock-on effect, expediting the return of
normal levels of business and consumer spending, and stimulating the economy.
“Open Banking is also primed for the new environment of less face-to-face contact, helping
companies accelerate their digital onboarding processes safely and securely. It improves
automated, digital verification rates for identity, income and expenditure, helping combat the risk
of fraud and providing customers with a more positive, less onerous experience.

“Open Banking is gaining momentum by the month and we are entering a new, more mature phase
of its development. Lenders have built out customer journeys, integrated technical aspects, tested,
learnt and gained confidence in the new Open Banking approach. The initial labour and capital
investment is bearing fruit and we expect the uptake in Open Banking to continue to grow
throughout 2020.”


* FCA, June 2020, as cited in the Daily Telegraph
** Treasury office, June 2020, as cited by BBC