New Smart Data project aimed at cutting bills for consumers

  • The Council will look at how to cut the current loyalty penalty of £1,114
  • The next step in cementing the UK’s position as a global fintech leader

A new Smart Data Council has been set up to help lower bills for consumers and small firms by making it easier to switch utility providers, the Department for Business and Trade has announced today.

The loyalty penalty, the difference between what loyal and new consumers pay for the same service, currently sits at £1,114 a year for households across mobile, mortgages and broadband.

The Council find ways to extend the benefits of Smart Data to new sectors, allowing consumers and businesses to find essential tariffs best suited to their needs, or reduce the loyalty penalty that customers face when trying to change providers.

Smart Data involves the secure sharing of customer data with authorised third parties to help improve services for consumers. A wider adoption of Smart Data will make it easier for more consumers and small businesses to switch providers of some utilities, therefore supporting families to save money.

The Council, featuring representatives from Citizen’s Advice, Innovate Finance and other stakeholders will be tasked with leading, developing and co-ordinating on new and innovative schemes that utilise the power of Smart Data.

Business and Trade Minister Kevin Hollinrake said:

Smart Data can be a real game changer for consumers across the UK, potentially saving people hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.

Our new Smart Data Council will build on the success of Open Banking and spearhead measures in sectors like SME finance, energy and telecoms, increasing competition and putting more money in the pockets of consumers and small firms.

The newly formed council will aim to replicate the success of Open Banking in other sectors which could include telecoms and energy.

Launched in 2018, Open Banking has been one of the early champions of Smart Data, and now supports over 7 million customers. In that time the data sharing services have boosted customer knowledge of their finances and enabled increased savings.

The Council will be comprised of key government departments, regulators, industry, and consumer groups. The Council will direct coordination and drive collaboration and knowledge-sharing across the key decision makers and stakeholders.

The inaugural meeting will take place on Tuesday 25th April 2023.

Council Members:

  • The Department for Business and Trade
  • HM Treasury
  • The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
  • The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office
  • Ofcom
  • Ofgem
  • The Financial Conduct Authority
  • The Competition and Markets Authority
  • TechUK
  • Innovate Finance
  • Icebreaker One
  • Citizens Advice
  • The Coalition for a Digital Economy (COADEC)
  • Open Data Institute
  • Ctrl-Shift
  • Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE)
  • The Investing and Saving Alliance (TISA)
Published 17 April 2023