On 24 June 2014, HM Treasury published a speech on banking competition in the UK given by Andrea Leadsom, Financial Secretary to the Treasury. Ms Leadsom made an announcement relating to a commitment made at this year's Budget by the six largest current account providers. They had committed to give their customers portable current account information in an industry-standard format that can be plugged into comparison tools. This initiative is part of the Midata Programme to provide consumers with better access to their personal data so that they can choose better products and services.
What this means for you
Ms Leadsom announced that these account providers have now agreed on the way customers' account information will be provided for use in comparison tools and that the new service will be available by the end of the financial year. Customers will soon be able to download a year's worth of their current account data in a single file that can be read by online tools. While the information will be stripped of any details that link it directly to the individual, making it safer, it will include amount spent and where money has been spent. Comparison tool providers are already looking to create online tools that use the information.