Non-bank consumer loan providers, especially in the non-captive auto sector, will benefit the most from the widespread accessibility of potential borrowers’ bank account details that the U.K. Open Banking initiative allows, says Moody’s Investors Service in a report published Thursday.
The initiative, which requires the U.K.’s nine largest retail financial firms to share customer data with third party lenders, subject to client consent, will improve consumer credit assessments and loan pricing, the Moody’s says in the report.
“All lenders will have a clearer picture of borrowers’ affordability, allowing a more detailed assessment, versus standard creditworthiness scores. Underwriting enhancement will also support better risk-adjusted returns,” Moody’s says.
Yet the firm also sees potential risks. “More data … may encourage the proliferation of financial products that encourage consumers to become over leveraged. In the event of a downturn, borrower defaults and losses would be higher than in a less indebted consumer market,” says Greg Davies, vice president and senior research analyst at Moody’s, in a statement.
For fintechs, Open Banking will support their participation in the consumer lending market, “making the sector more attractive because of the fresh possibility of getting free access to high quality data,” Moody’s says.
In particular, non-bank consumer loan providers are likely to be the primary beneficiaries of the initiative, it says.
On the heels of open banking initiatives in the U.K. and the rest of Europe, financial sector policymakers in Canada have said that the idea should be studied here too, but they have yet to commit to the concept.