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‘Big Tech a priority’ says FCA Chief Executive

In a speech delivered yesterday, the FCA's Chief Executive Nikhil Rathi announced the regulator's plans to examine how Big Tech firms’ unique access to large sets of data could unlock better products, more competitive prices and wider choice for consumers and businesses.

The speech at a Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) event outlined Nikhil Rathi’s focus on Big Tech as Chair of the DRCF, as well as the FCA’s response to the Government’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI), also published yesterday.

The FCA’s Big Tech plans were included yesterday in a feedback statement to its call for input on data sharing between Big Tech and financial services firms. Currently, Big Tech firms can access financial services data through Open Banking but are not required to share their data with the financial industry.

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive at the FCA yesterday said:

“Big Tech’s growing emergence in financial services has already made life easier for consumers, but it is still unclear how valuable their data will become in financial markets.

“That’s why we want to work with Big Tech to examine how their data could be most helpful for financial firms and their customers in future, and to ensure competition evolves effectively.”

If the FCA’s analysis finds Big Tech data is valuable in financial services, it will look to incentivise more data sharing between Big Tech and financial firms through its Open Banking and broader Open Finance work. If it finds potential risk or harms from non-sharing of data it will also look to develop proposals for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to consider when they are given powers to regulate designated firms’ digital and data conduct, expected via the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill.

It also continues joint work with the Bank of England and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) on the role of critical third parties (CTPs) and artificial intelligence (AI).

The DRCF has also launched the AI and Digital Hub, a collaboration between regulators that enables innovators to get advice on issues that cross more than one DRCF regulator’s remit.

Notes to Editors

  1. Read Nikhil’s Rathi’s speech.
  2. Read the FCA’s response to the Government’s White Paper on Artificial Intelligence.
  3. Read the FCA’s Feedback Statement on Big Tech in financial services.
  4. The Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill, expected to be given royal assent in Spring 2024, will facilitate private sector data sharing across the economy and aims to drive cross-sector data driven innovation. 
  5. Provisions in the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers (DMCC) Bill are expected to enable the CMA to impose conduct requirements on firms designated with Strategic Market Status (SMS) in respect to a digital activity, including to regulate the use of data where appropriate.
  6. The DCRF aims to ensure a greater level of cooperation between regulators (FCA, CMA, ICO, Ofcom) given the unique challenges posed by regulation of online platforms. Nikhil Rathi is the current Chair of the DCRF.
  7. Find out more information about the FCA.


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