An Open Letter to Canada’s Associate Minister of Finance
Dear Associate Minister Boissonnault,
We are now very close to the one-year anniversary of the federal government’s open banking report, dated April 2021. Five months after it was completed, when the report was publicly released, the Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) applauded the vision outlined by the government’s open banking advisory committee and encouraged the government to swiftly adopt all recommendations in the report. In particular, we called on the government to take quick action on the report’s Phase One recommendation that, “As an immediate first step, the Government should appoint an open banking lead, with a mandate from the government and accountable to the Deputy Minister at Finance Canada, to convene industry to advance these elements.”
We remain optimistic about your ability as Associate Minister to breathe new life into this file, and since your appointment, we have noticed a genuine openness and interest from your office to meet with the leaders of Canada’s fintech sector to discuss the topic of open banking.
Yet it has been 222 days since the report was released, and we still do not know when the government’s open banking lead will be named or if the government plans to implement all recommendations from the advisory committee’s report, including the establishment of a governance entity in Phase Two to manage the on-going administration of the open banking system. It is disappointing to see further indications from the federal government that this file is being left to gather dust, and apparently does not even warrant a mention in the Department of Finance’s departmental plan when previous plans included specific references to secure financial data sharing networks.
Giving citizens more control over their financial data and allowing for more innovation and competition in financial services is good for Canadians. We have seen the kinds of benefits that come with open banking in other jurisdictions, and Canada has already fallen behind our peers. Canadians will be poorer for it, and the Canadian finance sector will be weaker for lack of innovation and competition.
Given the significant amount of work ahead, we are left to wonder whether the Liberal Party’s platform promise to move forward with open banking “no later than the beginning of 2023” will happen. Can you please provide an update on when Canadian’s can expect action from the government on the open banking file?
Patrick Searle, Vice President, CCI
Alex Vronces, Executive Director, PayTechs of Canada
Andrew Chau, CEO, Neo Financial
Andrew Graham, CEO, Borrowell
Cato Pastoll, CEO, Loop
Dan Eisner, CEO, True North Mortgage
David Feller, CEO, Mogo
Dominique Ferst, Managing Partner, Ferst Capital Partners
Hamed Abbasi, CEO, Plooto
Lisa Shields, Chair, FISPAN
Martha Mendoza, CEO, Simplypay
Matthew Spoke, CEO, Moves Financial
Michael Garrity, CEO, FinanceIt
Michelle Beyo, CEO, Finavator
Nic Beique, CEO, Helcim
Nicole Benson, CEO, Valeyo
Patrick Huynh, CEO, Fiska
Peter Kalen, CEO, Flexiti
Tarique Al-Ansari, CEO, Paystone
Are you a Canadian fintech innovator who wants to join CCI’s advocacy for open banking frameworks in Canada? Click here to sign the letter.