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Big US banks to become joint owners of consumer data-sharing network Akoya

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Big US banks to become joint owners of consumer data-sharing network Akoya

FMR LLC, the parent of Fidelity Investments, will spin off Akoya, which operates an application programming interface-based network that allows consumers to grant data access to third-party financial apps.

Akoya will be jointly owned by Fidelity, The Clearing House Payments Co. and 11 of its member banks. The banks who will become joint owners include Bank of America Corp., Capital One Financial Corp., Citigroup Inc., Huntington Bancshares Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., KeyCorp, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Toronto-Dominion Bank, Truist Financial Corp., U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC was The Clearing House Payments' financial adviser in the deal.

Citi Chairman and CEO Michael Corbat said in a news release that the transaction is a major step in giving consumers control of their data. "Data security is a top priority for the industry, and bringing Akoya together with The Clearing House and its members will meaningfully advance the availability of a secure data sharing ecosystem while preserving customer choice," said Corbat, who is also chairman of The Clearing House Payments.

However, some were skeptical of allowing Akoya to be jointly owned by the big banks. The Financial Data and Technology Association said in a separate news release that allowing a new entity to consolidate and control consumer data "will potentially prevent other third parties from accessing that data even if individuals and small businesses permission that access."

Banks and financial technology companies have recently become increasingly combative over access to consumer data. JPMorgan, according to Reuters, has given fintech firms until July 30 to sign new data access agreements with them or they will be denied access to the information. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that PNC blocked customers from connecting their bank accounts to PayPal Holdings Inc.'s Venmo LLC.