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?

Regards,

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.

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CCI is Canada’s 21st century business council, advocating for our country’s high-growth, innovative companies. Visit CanadianInnovators.org to learn more.

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Council of Canadian Innovators

Council of Canadian Innovators

CCI is Canada’s 21st century business council, advocating for our country’s high-growth, innovative companies. Visit CanadianInnovators.org to learn more.

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