During its meeting on 16 December 2022, the Federal Council discussed open finance developments in Switzerland.
It has instructed the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) to submit measures to it by June 2024 in the event that the financial sector does not sufficiently commit to opening up its interfaces.
Open finance enables financial data to be exchanged via standardised and secure data interfaces at the request of clients. For example, someone who has accounts at several banks could use the app of one of those banks or a fintech to manage all accounts. Furthermore, financial data could be automatically combined with other data to calculate a carbon footprint, for example.
Unlike in other countries, such as the United Kingdom (PSD2) or EU member states, there is currently no legal obligation in Switzerland for financial institutions to make financial data available to third-party providers at their clients’ request.
The February 2022 Federal Council report on digital finance stipulates that the need for action to promote and expand open finance should be reviewed on a regular basis. During its meeting on 16 December, the Federal Council took note of open finance developments in Switzerland and the outlook for the future. The commitment of industry associations and various financial institutions is to be welcomed. Promising projects have been launched in areas such as retirement provision, portfolio management, payment transactions and multibanking. However, more concrete progress and greater commitment are needed with regard to the opening up of data interfaces.
The Federal Council welcomes the targets that the FDF has drawn up. They serve as a guideline for the work to be done and are intended to strengthen the digital self-determination of clients and to promote innovation and competition in the Swiss financial centre. The Federal Council remains confident that a market-based approach can work. It has instructed the FDF to submit measures to it by June 2024 in the event that the financial sector does not sufficiently commit to opening up its interfaces. In addition, the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) is to examine how digital access to retirement provision data can be appropriately promoted.