The Consumer Data Right (CDR) is a step closer to implementation following the introduction of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019 (Bill) to the House of Representatives on 24 July 2019. This follows the introduction of an almost identical Bill in February 2019, the passage of which was frustrated by the dissolution of Parliament leading up to the May 2019 election.

Three of the four major Australian banks are already voluntarily sharing basic product data by way of an application programming interface. As the CDR is implemented, this will expand to the sharing of customer data and will be required by all authorised deposit-taking institutions.

Passage through Parliament

Following its introduction to the House of Representatives, the Government is likely to seek swift passage of the Bill through the Senate despite the expectation that Labor will seek amendments. The previous version of the Bill was referred to the government-led Economics Legislation Committee which recommended the legislation be passed without amendment. However, the two Labor members on that committee dissented from the majority, raising concerns regarding the adequacy of the privacy safeguards within the legislation. The current version of the Bill has not been referred to a Senate Committee and, if it is not introduced during the parliamentary sitting week ending 1 August 2019, is likely to be considered by the Senate in mid-September 2019.

CDR Implementation timeframe

The re-introduced version of the Bill extends the period in which the Minister may designate the CDR to the banking sector without further consultation from 1 January 2020 until 1 July 2020 (or three months after the Bill commences, whichever is later). The same extension applies to the period in which the ACCC may implement the relevant CDR Rules without further consultation.

This extension indicates that, even if the Bill passes through Parliament quickly, the CDR could come into effect as late as 1 July 2020. However, in a 22 July 2019 press release the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, re-affirmed the 1 February 2020 target for implementation.

Next steps

Banks and other industry participants should be prepared for the imminent implementation of the CDR. Our previous update includes a number of steps which financial institutions should be undertaking now to ensure they are ready for the world of open banking.

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