Brits must get better banking apps, watchdog decrees

Customers must be able to apply for loans, mortgages and overdrafts from their phones, UK banks have been told.

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Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
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Major high street banks such as NatWest will have to provide more choice in their mobile services.

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UK residents must have access to better banking apps, a regulatory body has said.

In a new report published today, the Competition and Market's Authority says that big UK banks aren't doing enough to compete for customers' business, and orders a "revolution" in banking mobile tech.

That would see new apps released by early 2018, with banks forced to share customer data with other third parties, so that individuals could manage their accounts or compare what rival banks are offering from their phones, using apps that aren't solely built by their financial institution of choice.

Dubbed "open banking" by the CMA, banks would have to submit information securely using APIs, in measures that also call for a maximum cap on monthly fees for unarranged overdrafts.

"We want customers to be able to access new and innovative apps, which will tailor services, information and advice to their individual needs," said Alasdair Smith, chairman of the recently concluded investigation into retail banking. "The reforms we have announced today will shake up retail banking for years to come."