Retained Communications & Public Affairs Support

Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE), was established through a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regulatory order to boost competition and innovation in retail banking by providing an architecture for personal banking data held by high street banks to be shared with other financial services providers, including FinTechs. H/Advisors Cicero is OBIE’s retained communications and public affairs agency, with the objective to support OBIE through a period of intense change and challenge.

Strategy & Execution

H/Advisors Cicero is OBIE’s retained communications and public affairs agency. We have supported OBIE through a period of intense change and challenge including:

  • A CMA review, including public consultation, of the implementation of Open Banking. This would determine the future oversight, governance and funding of Open Banking
  • An independent inquiry commissioned by the CMA, carried out by Alison White, into whistleblower allegations about the working environment at OBIE. The failings identified by the inquiry resulted in the resignation of the then Chair and Trustee of OBIE
  • Supporting the incoming Chair and Trustee, Charlotte Crosswell as she began to overhaul governance and operations at OBIE to prevent a repeat of the failings identified by the White Report
  • Helping the organisation, including its new Chief Executive, Henk Van Hulle, move ahead with a positive agenda for the future after the publication of the CMA’s next steps for Open Banking in March 2022.

H/Advisors Cicero provided completely integrated communications advisory, including crisis comms, media relations and public affairs. This helped the leadership of OBIE steady the ship after a period of intense disruption and uncertainty and remain focussed on the delivery of the CMA’s order.

Despite the many challenging scenarios faced during our continuing engagement with the OBIE, the organisation is very well positioned to see Open Banking achieve its full potential. Our agile approach to communications is shaped by an ability to call on technical experts spanning public affairs, crisis communications and in-house research and campaigns professionals, at a moments notice. This enables our clients to contend with the unforeseeable and move forward their planned agenda simultaneously. It is this ability that helped place OBIE in the position it is today.

Adam Taylor, Managing Director Corporate Communications


OBIE is a significant success in the rollout of open banking and is positioned as a likely candidate in the next steps around open finance and smart data.

If you wish to discuss any of the issues mentioned in this article, please contact Adam in H/Advisors Cicero’s Corporate Communications team on