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PwC’s Abraham Tachjian to be Canada’s open banking lead

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Abraham Tachjian Canadas open banking lead - PwC's Abraham Tachjian to be Canada’s open banking leadCanada finally has its open banking lead. PwC Canada digital banking director Abraham Tachjian has been chosen to kickstart open banking efforts in the country, BetaKit has learned.

Multiple sources familiar with the selection process confirmed to BetaKit under condition of anonymity that the federal government is expected to announce the appointment Tuesday.

The Globe and Mail also published a story today noting that the government is set to announce Tachjian as the lead this week.

Tachjian, as well as spokespeople for the Associate Minister of Finance Randy Boissonnault and the Department of Finance, were not immediately available for comment.

See:

State of Challenger Banking in Canada

Privacy Implications of an Open Banking System in Canada

Tachjian has operated as PwC Canada’s director of digital banking since February 2020. Prior to that, he was a founding member and head of operational risk at Mox, a Hong Kong digital bank owned by Standard Chartered.

Sources familiar with the process told BetaKit that PwC was hired to lead the second round of open banking consultations, noting that Tachjian was at the centre of that process.

“As a common law and civil law qualified lawyer, I bring a multidisciplinary approach which allows me to provide a unique point of view that bridges the gap between banking, technology and law,” Tachjian’s LinkedIn page reads.

Reactions to the decision from those BetaKit spoke to seemed more mixed. Some noted Tachjian’s strong performance during the consultations, while some preferred other names from the candidate shortlist. Most noted that the position would be difficult for anyone to balance the demands of government, incumbents, and FinTech disruptors. Many are happy that the search is over.

See:

Canada’s Library of Parliament Report: A Comparison of Open Banking Recommendations

Betakit podcast with Senator Deacon on Open Banking and Competition

“I’m glad it’s not a bank person, put it that way,” one person who participated in the open banking consultations told BetaKit.

The appointment comes more than three years after the federal government launched its Advisory Committee on Open Banking, and almost a year to the day since their report recommended a lead designing the “early phase of the [open banking] system” (the report was ultimately publicly released five months later in August). It is a process that has spanned two finance ministers: Bill Morneau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

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