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CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank and NatWest Group launch Global Open Finance Challenge

First-of-its-kind event promotes innovation for a global financial ecosystem

TORONTO, SAO PAULO, MELBOURNE, Australia and LONDON, Aug. 16, 2021 /CNW/ - Today CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM), Itaú Unibanco (NYSE: ITUB), National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) and NatWest Group (LSE: NWG) launched the Global Open Finance Challenge, a virtual event encouraging innovation and the development of new solutions for a global open finance ecosystem.

The event is the second in a series of joint initiatives by CIBC, Itaú Unibanco, National Australia Bank and NatWest Group aimed at building a stronger, more progressive global banking and financial industry.

The four banks, in collaboration with cloud computing leader Amazon Web Services (AWS), are inviting entrepreneurs and innovators to prototype new customer solutions on a global scale. The ideas will address some of the most pressing challenges in the financial services industry, cultivating an open finance ecosystem that allows secure data sharing among financial institutions, and enabling the banks to deliver more choice and customized product offerings for clients around the world, and the public at large.

"The Global Open Finance Challenge will help transform our industry around the world by encouraging innovation and advancing our common goals: to support our clients in an evolving landscape through value-added digital services, more convenient access to the financial ecosystem through the channels customers want, and a continued focus on sustainability."

-     Victor Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC; Milton Maluhy Filho, CEO, Itaú Unibanco; Ross McEwan, 
      Group CEO, National Australia Bank; Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group.

"Financial services companies across the globe are going through rapid digital transformation. By encouraging builders and crowdsourcing new technological ideas, these forward-looking banks running the Global Open Finance Challenge will be able to develop new technologies to meet people's rapidly evolving banking needs. We look forward to collaborating with the builders in the challenge to deliver tangible solutions that help people around the world meet their financial goals," said Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer,, Inc.

About The Global Open Finance Challenge
The banks have collaborated with Oolys, a leading API infrastructure platform for financial service providers, to develop a sandbox environment that securely runs on AWS. This environment replicates a bank's existing infrastructure, enabling rapid testing with third parties in a safe and secure environment. To aid in the development of applications, each bank will provide a set of shared APIs, including a combination of open banking, open finance, and experimental services. Participating teams can test, build and validate solutions, with mentorship from leaders within the banks and event partners. AWS will collaborate with the four banks to provide participants with advisory support to help them build their concepts in the lead up to the judging event, which includes access to coaching and resources on innovation and product development.

The top 12 teams will present their ideas to an executive judging panel with the CEOs of the four banks, plus executives from private equity, venture capital, and technology organizations:

  • Victor Dodig, President and CEO, CIBC
  • Milton Maluhy Filho, CEO, Itaú Unibanco
  • Ross McEwan, Group CEO, National Australia Bank
  • Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group
  • Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer,
  • Rob Heyvaert, Managing Partner, Motive Partners

The participating banks have identified three areas Challenge participants may choose to focus on, posing the following questions:

  • How can we better serve our corporate and business customers, and the public at large, by delivering high-value digital services?
  • How can we help current and new customers access banking services through more convenient or relevant digital channels?
  • How can we find innovative ways to help our customers make better decisions around climate and sustainability?

There will be four winning teams selected from the Global Open Finance Challenge, one winner for each of the three key areas identified, and an overall Challenge winner. The winning teams will each have the opportunity to participate in a post-event tailored incubation programme with one or more of the banks, which will include:

  • Proof of concept with the banks: a dedicated in-bank team to collaborate and support a proof of concept, including feedback from front-line and customer research groups
  • Ventures pitch: post-event teams will have the opportunity to pitch to all of the banks' ventures teams
  • Local market guidance: post-event teams can receive exclusive meetings with in-bank teams for education on local market environments
  • Senior leadership: exposure to internal decision-makers for networking relationship support and partner discussion
  • Media coverage: the winning teams will be featured in press releases across global and local banking, fintech, and technology media channels
  • Solution architecture: expert consultants from Amazon Web Services ("AWS") will provide support on functional and technical designs

How to register
Fintechs, large global organizations, early and late-stage startups, universities, and other teams of innovators are encouraged to join the Challenge. Event registration is open from August 16th:  

The Global Open Finance Challenge grand finale event will take place in November 2021.

"At CIBC we continue to transform our bank as part of our client-focused growth strategy, and initiatives such as the Global Open Finance Challenge can yield exciting opportunities to better support our clients, teams and our industry today and into the future," said Victor G. Dodig, CIBC President and Chief Executive Officer.

About CIBC
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 10 million personal banking, business, public sector and institutional clients. Across Personal and Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management, and Capital Markets businesses, CIBC offers a full range of advice, solutions and services through its leading digital banking network and locations across Canada, with offices in the United States and around the world. Ongoing news releases and more information about CIBC can be found at

About ITAÚ: 
Itaú Unibanco's purpose is to promote people's power of transformation and we do it through a strategic agenda focused on client centricity and digital transformation, based also on the diversity of our people. The largest bank in Latin America, Itaú Unibanco is present in 18 countries and has more than 56 million customers, among individuals and companies in all segments, to whom we offer the best experiences in financial products and services. Itaú Unibanco has been selected for the 21st consecutive time to be part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), being the only Latin American financial institution to be part of the index since its creation in 1999.

About National Australia Bank:
About NAB: "National Australia Bank (NAB) is a financial services institution. We're here to serve customers well and help our communities prosper. Today, we have more than 31,000 people serving eight million customers at more than 900 locations. As Australia's largest business bank, our business experts work with small, medium and large businesses to help them grow.

About NatWest Group:
NatWest Group is a leading banking and financial services group in the UK and Ireland.  We operate through a number of well-known banking brands. We have a presence on the high street through our customer facing brands - NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank. We are the largest supporter of UK business, banking around 1 in 4 businesses across the UK. Our private banking customers know us through their relationships with Coutts, Adam & Company, Child & Co and Drummonds. And NatWest Markets help our corporate and institutional clients manage their financial risks and achieve their short and long-term financial goals.


For further information: CIBC: Deborah Rowe / + 1 416-586-7019; Itaú: Paulo Sampaio, / +55 11 99884 7359; NAB: Lorna Jerez, / +61 436-621-329; NatWest Group: Rachael Neill / +44 77 4129 9261