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Tide CEO: “The big banks have been dragging their feet on Open Banking. Time to incentivise them to speed up.”

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Tide proposes removing the block on charging to access data, imposed by EU legislation, with companies like Tide paying a modest fee for access to data from large financial institutions.

London, 30th March 2021- CEO of Tide, the UK’s leading business financial platform[1], Oliver Prill, has today said that the “slow uptake of Open Banking” has meant missed opportunities for both customers and companies who might have created new products and services. According to the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) Annual Report, only 3m UK customers and businesses are using Open Banking-enabled products at the start of 2021, and account switching still remains low.

According to Oliver Prill, “The slow uptake is the result, at least in part, of foot-dragging by some of the large financial institutions, who may have perceived Open Banking as more of a threat than an opportunity. It certainly was an unwelcome cost to some of them.”

Tide has over 320,000 members, equivalent to 5% of the UK’s SME banking market,  and  believes that by removing the block on charging to access data imposed by EU legislation, large financial institutions, including the leading High Street banks could be positively incentivised to participate in Open Banking. 

Oliver Prill added, “Open Banking needs to become a business opportunity, not a threat, for the large banks. We believe there is a whole level of data that the large institutions could make available to companies like Tide, for a modest fee, which would allow us and others to create a raft of new and innovative products and services for our members. Such premium services could be offered in addition to the basic free open banking access”. 

The comments came as part of Tide’s submission to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review into governance arrangements of the Future Entity (FE) that will replace the OBIE. Tide believes that the FE that replaces OBIE should have as its primary objective, promoting and further developing Open Banking. 

Commenting on the state of Open Banking in the UK, Oliver Prill said: “We, like many others, are disappointed by the slow uptake of Open Banking. There have been attempts to increase uptake, but exhortations can only achieve so much. Now that Open Banking is established, at least at a basic level, we believe its true potential is only likely to be realised if the high street banks are positively incentivised to participate. Open Banking can significantly improve the range and quality of products and services offered to small businesses.”

About Tide:

Tide’s mission is to help SMEs save time (and money) in the running of their businesses. The Tide business financial platform not only offers business accounts and related banking services, but also a comprehensive set of highly usable administrative solutions, such as full integration with accounting systems. Using advanced technology, all solutions are designed with SMEs in mind. Tide is now the emerging leader in SME challenger banking in the UK. Tide believes that truly serving SMEs well requires relentless focus on their needs. That is why Tide is SME only.

Tide has over 320,000 SME members with over 375,000 business accounts. Since it was founded in 2015 and launched in 2017, Tide has raised investment from major backers including Anthemis, Augmentum, Creandum, Goodwater, Jigsaw, Latitude, LocalGlobe, Passion Capital, SpeedInvest and The SBI Group.


[1] Tide is not a bank, but a business financial platform and the leading digital challenger in business banking services. We believe that a platform approach is the future of business banking, allowing us to offer both financial and admin services to SMEs saving them time (and money) to allow them to focus on what they love: running their businesses.

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