UK government tells banks to hand over information

Government wants data access

The UK government has warned banks that they will introduce legislation forcing them to disclose current account and credit card information to customers who request it.

The government wants Britons to have more access to, and more control over information and data about their purchasing and online habits in order to enhance retail targeting. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skill is working with businesses and consumer groups to allow individuals greater access to this information through the Midata initiative.

Some companies already work closely with the BIS campaign including MasterCard, Visa and Lloyds Banking Group. Despite this, the BIS believes that businesses are not doing enoughand is contemplating drawing up legislation to force companies, particularly in the current accounts and credit cards, mobile phone and energy sectors, to comply with information requests.

Jo Swinson, employment and consumer affairs minister said: “Many businesses reap huge commercial benefits from the information they gather from consumers’ daily spending patterns. Why shouldn’t consumers also benefit from this by having access to their own data to enable them to make better choices?”

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