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Open banking Oversight Committee takes next step with creation of working group

Bryan Zhang, the co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, will head up the strategic working group for the oversight of open banking.

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Bryan Zhang.

The UK has moved another step closer to a clear vision of the open banking Oversight Committee with its latest appointment.

Bryan Zhang will act as the new independent chair for the Joint Regulatory Oversight Committee’s (JROC) strategic working group (SWG).

Co-chaired by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payments Systems Regulator (PSR), the SWG is a non-decision-making consultative forum to provide industry and stakeholder insight to help shape the future development of open banking. 

The Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) is set to provide administrative and secretariat support for the SWG as the JROC oversees the OBIE’s transition to a future entity.

The JROC will also be responsible for the long-term regulatory framework of open banking and open finance, taking over from the Competition Markets Authority, which convened the taskforce and acts as a member of the Committee alongside the Treasury.

Zhang comes to the JROC with a wealth of experience in the space as co-founder and executive director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. 

“I look forward to working closely with open banking ecosystem stakeholders through the SWG to collate views and collect empirical evidence at pace, in order to inform the decision-making by JROC,” Zhang wrote in a LinkedIn post.

The FCA and PSR announced the creation of the Committee, which finally signalled a direction for the future governance of open banking, in March this year.

The JROC met for the first time in May, at which it agreed on the creation of the SWG, which was more fully fleshed out a month later.

While it is still very early on in the Committee’s life, the quick creation of the SWG and Zhang’s subsequent appointment indicates a clear trajectory towards the aim of drawing up proposals for the future entity by the end of 2022.

TrueLayer’s head of public policy Jack Wilson welcomed Zhang’s appointment to the SWG, saying “it is imperative that the group moves quickly to put the OBIE on a secure footing, so focus can once again turn to further developing the potential of open banking in the UK”.

While there is still a long way to go before we see a clear vision of the future of the OBIE under the JROC’s hand, this is a decisive step forward towards firmer plans, with more to come soon hopefully.

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Jack Wilson

Head of Policy & Regulatory Affairs


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