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The Consumer Data Right (CDR) is a statutory scheme designed to help consumers manage their personal or business finances in a secure and easy manner. CDR is being rolled out in stages across different sectors. The ACCC has demonstrated their willingness to investigate and take enforcement action.

The ACCC has issued HSBC Bank Australia Limited (HSBC) with two infringement notices totalling $33,000 for alleged breaches of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) rules.

The infringement notices involve HSBC’s alleged failures to disclose complete mortgage interest rate details and accurate credit card balances pursuant to separate requests for information made via the CDR.

The ACCC scrutinised allegations that, from at least 20 February 2023 to 25 April 2023, HSBC did not correctly disclose its fixed rate home loan interest rates in response to requests made via the CDR. Some of the product data provided by HSBC regarding its fixed rate home loan products did not contain the equivalent featured interest rate marketed on its website.

“If accurate home loan rates are not provided, product data users, such as comparator sites and brokers, are unable to present accurate comparisons of home loan products to consumers. This has the potential to lead to consumers making decisions based on incorrect information about home loan interest rates on offer,” says ACCC Commissioner Peter Crone.

The ACCC also examined claims that, from at least 9 January 2023 to 27 May 2023, HSBC did not correctly disclose credit card account balance data after receiving consumer data requests.

“For the CDR to be effective, it is critical that CDR data is of high quality. This means that product data and consumer data – which a consumer has consented to share – must be accurate, up-to-date, complete, and in the required format,” says Crone.

“The value of CDR and the importance of data quality is particularly relevant in the current economic climate where Australians are increasingly concerned with cost-of-living pressures and mortgage interest rates.”

“Through the CDR, consumers can access information and tools using their own data, that help them compare products, manage their personal finances, and make informed decisions about switching.”

“Data quality within the CDR is a priority conduct area for the ACCC. All CDR participants are reminded that failure to comply with the CDR rules will result in scrutiny by the ACCC and may result in enforcement action, with potentially serious consequences.”

The Consumer Data Right (CDR) is a statutory scheme designed to help consumers manage their personal or business finances in a secure and easy manner by giving consumers the right to share data between service providers. The aim is to allow consumers to compare products and services with ease and to foster competition between providers.

The CDR was rolled out in the banking sector on 1 July 2020.

#Payment of a penalty in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the CDR rules. HSBC assisted the ACCC with its investigations.