Open Banking Interview with Canadian Lead Abraham Tachjian

The Paypers | Vlad Macovei | Dec 13, 2022

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In March 2022, the government appointed Abraham Tachjian to lead the development of an Open Banking framework in Canada. His mandate is to consult with the industry, regulators, and consumer representatives. The objective of these consultations is to design and implement the key elements of an Open Banking framework.

Could you please share details about your experience related to Open Banking in Canada and the key responsibilities and mission as the Open Banking Lead?

Earlier this year, Minister Boissonnault began implementing the recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Open Banking (the Committee) through the initial step to name me as the Open Banking Lead. To that end, the Secretariat (Department of Finance officials) and I have been focused on delivering on the recommendations by the Committee on Open Banking, firstly by creating working groups to address the key pillars of an Open Banking system. These working groups focus on accreditation, liability, privacy, and security requirements. They meet frequently and include representatives from industry, consumer groups, and government regulators. The composition of these groups is intended to allow our work to progress efficiently, and we have nevertheless achieved comprehensive industry involvement and commitment. We also regularly engage with stakeholders more broadly to benefit from perspectives across the ecosystem. For those interested in following our progress or submitting input, I encourage you to visit the discussion guides and meeting outcomes which are publicly available on our Open Banking implementation page.

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In parallel, with the support of the Open Banking Secretariat at the Department of Finance Canada, work is being done in the areas of system governance and technical standards.

Who is responsible for consumer education? (Government, banks, fintech?)

In Canada, consumer education is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial, and territorial regulators, as well as entities that sell financial products and services. As part of its mandate, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides unbiased and fact-based information on different subjects, including Open Banking, to help Canadians make informed financial decisions. In its submission to the Committee, FCAC recommended a national awareness and education campaign to better educate Canadians on Open Banking.

What are the key developments, policies, practices, and procedures in data ownership, consumer data, data sharing, and privacy rights?

In June 2022, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-27, an Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act, the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act, and the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts, which is currently making its way through Parliament.

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