Open banking
Produced in partnership with Sam Robinson, Duncan Turner and Jon Monks of CMS
Open banking

The following Financial Services guidance note Produced in partnership with Sam Robinson, Duncan Turner and Jon Monks of CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Open banking
  • Background
  • The open banking standard
  • Third party providers and authorisation
  • Applicable law and regulations
  • Contracting for open banking solutions
  • Current landscape

This Practice Note explains open banking and relevant legal and commercial issues. It covers:

  1. Background

  2. The open banking standard

  3. Third party providers and authorisation

  4. Applicable law and regulations

  5. Contracting for open banking

  6. Current landscape

Open banking is the name given to the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) to collate data and allow third parties to access (principally) current accounts with participating banks (and related data), with the account holder’s consent.

One purpose of this access is to allow such third parties to develop products and services for customers that are informed by the data they obtain and/or their ability, with the customer’s explicit consent, to initiate payments from in-scope accounts.

It is hoped that these new products and increased customer awareness will enliven competition in the UK’s retail banking market. Open banking is closely associated (and sometimes confused) with the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSRs 2017), SI 2017/752, which implement the Payment Services Directive (EU) 2015/2366 (PSD2).


On 9 August 2016, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the final report of the ‘Retail banking market investigation’ that it had launched in November 2014. The purpose of the report was to identify features, or combinations of features, in the UK personal and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) current account markets, that had an adverse effect on competition and to propose remedies