Open banking body appoints former Mastercard and Natwest exec to top job

Open banking body appoints former Mastercard and Natwest exec to top job

Former Natwest and Mastercard exec Marion King takes over the role from outgoing chief Charlotte Crosswell

The body charged with overseeing the rollout of open banking in the UK has appointed a former Natwest and Mastercard executive as its new chair, City A.M. can exclusively reveal, as the regime moves into its next phase of implementation.

Marion King, a former director of Payments at Natwest Group and president of Mastercard UK and Ireland, takes on the role of chair and trustee of the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) at the end of this month as outgoing chief Charlotte Crosswell moves into a position at the government-backed Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology.

Open banking was introduced in 2018 in a bid to boost innovation by opening up customers’ banking data to trusted “third party providers”. Its rollout has been touted by much of the fintech sector as crucial to boosting innovation in the UK.

King’s appointment to the much-watched role comes weeks after the first phase of open banking implementation in the UK was deemed “substantially complete” by the Competition and Markets Authority, five years after it was first rolled out in the UK.

In a statement shared with City A.M., the OBIE said that King would now be charged with overseeing big banks’ compliance with the regulators’ open banking order and corporate governance of the body.

“Open banking is a UK success story and exemplifies the very best of UK innovation and entrepreneurship, providing benefits to over 6.5m consumers and small businesses. I am looking forward to seeing even more users adopt and take advantage of products that will help them better manage, move and make more of their money,” King said in statement.

“We cannot afford to be complacent and must work with and support the ecosystem, policymakers, and regulators to ensure the UK remains internationally competitive and innovative.”

Her appointment comes as questions hang over the future of the OBIE, however, with the body set to be replaced by a new entity yet to be determined by regulators. 

The speed of progress on open banking has also come under fire from some quarters. A group of fintech firms including Wise and Monzo slammed the regulators in December claiming the “integrity and potential” of the regime in the UK was at risk. 

The OBIE has faced a series of controversies since its formation, with King’s predecessor Crosswell called in to address a slew of bullying, sexism and racism claims.  

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