15 August 2018

More power in the hands of consumers

The Turnbull Government is helping customers get a better deal – today releasing exposure draft legislation to introduce a Consumer Data Right.

This Bill is a game changer for Australians.

The Consumer Data Right will empower customers to use their data for their own benefit.

Customers will determine which data is shared, on what terms and with whom. The Consumer Data Right is a right for customers and not for those who wish to access or use a customer’s data.

It will arm Australians with the right information they need to seek better deals on banking products and loans, with further sectors such as energy and telecommunications services to be added over time.

No longer will Australians be left in the dark by banks and financial service providers.

The recent Productivity Commission review on Competition in the Australian Financial System reported that the average Australian household could be saving up to $1000 per year on their home loan if they switched to another lender – but many choose not to or don’t know how. With over 4,000 different residential property loans on offer, it is no wonder that customers struggle to determine which home loan is best for them.

Many customers need help in managing this complexity – in assessing, selecting and using those offerings. The Consumer Data Right will enable customers to get assistance and tailored support from third party service providers, by granting access to their data.

In the banking sector, where it is called Open Banking, the Consumer Data Right will mean customers can direct their information be shared – including information relating to deposit accounts, debit and credit cards, mortgages, personal and business loans and transaction accounts.

The Government is committed to ensuring that high levels of privacy protection and information security for customer data is embedded in the new regulatory framework. This Bill delivers enhanced protections, backed by well-resourced regulators with strong powers.

Data recipients must be accredited as trustworthy to receive data pursuant to the Consumer Data Right, enabling customers to have justified confidence in the system.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Data Standards Body are developing rules and standards that will provide further protections for customers. I would like to thank industry, technology firms and consumer groups for their engagement in these processes.

The exposure draft of the legislation is available on the Treasury website. Detail on the strong privacy protections built into the Consumer Data Right is also available on the Treasury website.

Submissions are due by 7 September 2018. The Government encourages all interested parties to make a submission.