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The CMA9 are the nine largest banks in the UK, as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as part of the Open Banking initiative.

AIB Group UK  one of the CMA9 that delivered the first set of mandatory steps of the open banking revolution, a role in which its excelled, leading the pack and open banking readiness.

This early promise and commitment to meeting the deadline, where others missed it may give it a crucial edge in the coming changes to the UK banking landscape. We’ve worked with Steven over a number of years. And it’s great to be able to get his perspective on the direction that AIB and the wider industry is heading in.

Our conversation moves from the difficulties of being a challenger bank, navigating the space between the bear of being an incumbents and the baggage free nimbleness of near banks, the opportunities for FinTech partnerships, and the potential for API’s to facilitate the opening up of data to transform banking services. Stephen has a wealth of experience to draw on and is considered the user a welcome contrast to the often wild claims of FinTech evangelists.

“One of the drivers for open banking and the CMA remedies is to encourage competition, it is the same in businesses. We've seen the shake-up of RBS that the government's using state aid to try and help break up the banking market, but it's really slow progress. And I think banks have got a little bit of a privileged position there.” “I think in particular, around business banking, we are really watching that space closely, because I think it's probably less well served in terms of innovation than consumer banking." Steven Cochran, AIB Group UK, Head of Products and Customer advocacy.