CIO Strategy Council Advances National Standards for Consumer Directed Finance

OTTAWA, February 4, 2021 – Calls for decisive action in developing an open banking framework are mounting in Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At the end of 2020, the federal government’s Advisory Committee on Open Banking held a second series of consultations to propose a consumer-directed finance – or open banking – framework for Canada. At the same time, the CIO Strategy Council’s Standards Policy Committee approved the development of a new series of national standards for enabling customer-directed finance, including new parts to the series of digital trust and identity standards, specific to digital credentials and digital wallets.

“Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity demands that we develop a more agile regulatory review process that allows incumbents and new entrants to take advantage of new technologies and business models,” says Senator Colin Deacon. “The CIO Strategy Council’s approach to developing standards, and specifically those needed to create a minimum viable Open Banking ecosystem, holds the promise of illustrating the value of positively disrupting regulatory review and development in Canada.”

Standards are more than guiding principles. Standards establish accepted practices, technical requirements and modernize, at times, complex policies. Through its agile, open-by-default, consensus-based standards setting process, the CIO Strategy Council engages thought leaders, policy makers, commercial interests, academia and civil society groups from across Canada to the publication and development of critical standards for data governance, digital identity, and cybersecurity – to name a few. As an example, in September 2020, the CIO Strategy Council published the first of a series of national standards for digital trust and identity, CAN/CIOSC 103-1:2020.

The CIO Strategy Council is actively collaborating with stakeholders, including both the Open Banking Initiative Canada (OBIC) and the Financial Data Exchange (FDX), to advance a new suite of national standards for consumer-directed finance in Canada.

“FDX is thrilled to work with the CIO Strategy Council on the technical aspects of new national standards for Consumer-Directed Finance in Canada,” says Don Cardinal, FDX Managing Director. “Canadian firms represent over 25% of FDX’s global membership and we are working hard to ensure that the unique Canadian market needs and regulatory requirements are accurately reflected in the further development and maintenance of the FDX API standard.”

“OBIC is excited to collaborate with CIO Strategy Council to develop, maintain and advance a new, national standard for consumer-directed finance in Canada, with participation and input from other organizations,” says Bhupinder Singh, Managing Director of OBIC.

Interested parties are welcome to join the technical committee responsible for the development of the national standard and contribute to the work. For more information or any questions about the Council’s standards development activities, please contact Matthew MacNeil.

About CIO Strategy Council

The CIO Strategy Council is Canada’s national forum that brings together the country’s most forward-thinking chief information officers and executive technology leaders to collectively mobilize on common digital priorities. Cutting across major sectors of the Canadian economy – public, private, and not for profit – the Council harnesses the collective expertise and action of Canada’s CIOs to accelerate Canada’s digital transformation. In 2019, the Standards Council of Canada accredited the CIO Strategy Council to develop National Standards of Canada supporting the data-driven economy. Learn more at

About CIO Strategy Council Standards Policy Committee

The Standards Policy Committee governs the Council’s standardization policies, sets standardization priorities and is responsible for coordinating standards development activities by establishing, dissolving and assigning responsibility to technical committees; approving new technical work; determining priorities; and maintaining the Council’s standards policies, procedures and other rules for the technical work.

About the Financial Data Exchange

FDX is an international, nonprofit organization operating in Canada and the US that is dedicated to unifying the financial industry around a common, interoperable, royalty-free standard for the secure and convenient access of user-permissioned financial data, aptly named the FDX API. FDX has an international membership that includes financial institutions, financial data aggregators, fintechs, payment networks, consumer groups, financial industry groups and utilities and other permissioned parties in the user permissioned financial data ecosystem. FDX is an independent subsidiary of FS-ISAC. For more information, visit

About the Open Banking Initiative Canada

Open Banking Initiative Canada (OBIC) is a non-for-profit organization that exists to develop a market-driven Open Banking framework in Canada that will make consumer empowerment possible in our country. We’re gathering great minds in finance, technology and regulation, creating a groundswell that will be a force for good, giving Canadian consumers choice and control over their financial data. OBIC mission seeks to ensure that the Canadian Open Banking framework captures all parties’ interests across Canada and helps to develop a Globally competitive marketplaces with the needs and interests of the consumer first. We are committed to having a 50/50 gender diverse board and are focused driving Leadership and Education of Open Banking in Canada.


For media inquiries:

Katie Gibson
Vice President, Strategy and Partnership
CIO Strategy Council

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