Two big bank CEOs just explained why they're throttling personal finance startups

Big banks have recently throttled popular consumer apps and restricted their access to key data, frustrating their own account holders.

And two CEOs just provided a little more insight into why.

PNC Financial Services president and CEO William Demchak was asked about restricting access to data aggregators by McKinsey & Co. director Asheet Mehta on a panel at The Clearing House’s banking regulation conference in midtown Manhattan.

“I think Brian [Moynihan] is better able and more experienced to speak to that,” he responded, referring to the Bank of America CEO sitting immediately next to him.

It drew a big laugh from the audience, and Moynihan didn’t seem upset to be fingered for app throttling. Business Insider was first to report that Bank of America customers were angered after the bank cut off access to apps used by small business owners.

Demchak continued: “I call them aggravators.”

It drew another laugh from attendees at the event, which took place at the Waldorf Astoria. Moynihan appeared to laugh and smile at the jokes. Eventually, things got serious.

“We don’t know how well they are protected,” Demchak said of the apps’ security systems. “They slow down service to the rest of our accounts, and we react to that.”

Moynihan said the bank needs to better educate its customers on things including password safety.

“There’s a safety and soundness issue,” Moynihan said. “There’s a risk.”

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