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This isn't a quantitive finance problem but more of a consumer finance problem: I really think it is about time there is an API for consumers to access their data at financial institutions. I could see that opening up all kinds of innovation. (Selfishly it would allow the startup I'm working on to multiply the value we offer to users.)

Obviously a standard would be nice but in practice I'm sure each institution would come up with their own or embrace and extend the standard. e.g. FIX with trading.

I looked into this problem extensively a few years ago. Banks are actually moving backwards. The ones that previously exposed an API are killing them off and moving to a proprietary API that talks only to their app. Every retail bank is basically creating their own version of Mint, where you add your accounts from other institutions to their app.

Ready only access would be key too.

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