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Big Banks Lock Horns With Personal-Finance Web Portals

Banks, facing increasing competition from these companies, are becoming more protective of their customer information and are limiting how much data they pass on. The moves also reflect growing concern within the banking industry that rising use of such sites will overload bank servers, on top of worries that customer data could potentially be vulnerable to hackers.

The banks have been grumbling for months that so-called aggregator sites could present growing risks to consumers because of the detailed financial information the sites require from users. The tensions reached new heights in recent weeks when J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo restricted customers of Mint, one of the most popular aggregators, from accessing their bank account information for at least several days, these people said.

J.P. Morgan Chief Executive Officer James Dimon expressed concern about the issue in a recent meeting with Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said people familiar with the interaction.

Representatives of J.P. Morgan and the CFPB declined to comment on the meeting.

Sites such as Mint tout their services that give consumers one place to view all of their financial data. Customers who sign up for these services typically provide their passwords and other login information for their various financial accounts.

The sites then collect myriad data—often including bank accounts, credit-card balances, frequent-flier miles and retirement savings—to help consumers with budgeting and other financial planning. An aggregator, for example, can tell consumers when they have spent more than their monthly budgets on dining out.

Mint said that “delivering secure and seamless connectivity is a shared...


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