Home » Competition Tsar leads coalition in urging Government to move faster to build UK’s data lead amid inertia concerns

Competition Tsar leads coalition in urging Government to move faster to build UK’s data lead amid inertia concerns

by Tech Reporter
31st Jul 23 3:48 pm

A heavyweight business coalition led by John Penrose MP is calling for the Government to speed up Smart Data reforms, making British exporters more competitive, stimulating investment in UK digital jobs and delivering better deals for consumers to help cut the cost of living too.

Penrose, who was commissioned by Rishi Sunak to recommend improvements to make UK businesses more competitive, is supported by leading businesses calling for Britain’s world-leading digital success in open banking to be rolled out to industries beyond financial services as fast as possible.

Other members of the coalition include NatWest, TISA, Financial Data and Technology Association, The Payments Association, Open Banking Excellence (OBE) alongside fintechs Ozone API and Icebreaker One. Together they have written to Ministers urging them to move faster with already-planned reforms, to prevent UK businesses being overhauled by rival firms in other countries.

Currently, the Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill includes provisions to introduce Smart Data reforms, but with no guarantees or timetable on how fast the changes will be introduced in each business sector once they become law. But UK business leaders need certainty to begin investment programmes now, and modern digital firms have to move much, much faster than Westminster or Whitehall’s usual pace.

John Penrose, MP for Weston-Super-Mare and author of Sunak-commissioned report on UK competition policy said, “Open banking and smart data are already transforming UK banking, giving us all cheaper and better-value services even if we don’t realise it’s what lies behind the online financial apps and services so many of us are using nowadays.

“It has become a global UK success story, with British firms and exporters leading the way around the world. But rivals in other countries won’t stand still, so now we’ve got to roll the same success out across the rest of our economy to give us better deals and create world-leading firms in sectors like online retailing or energy too.

“The good news is that Government has the legislation on the table, but we need firm implementation plans and timetables from Ministers right away, so businesses can get cracking.”

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