I am not sure the specific behavioral change was either intentional or unintentional. The conversion to “No access” as the default condition was very definitely intentional. But since the effect of entering an asterisk in the account selection field was never documented, I doubt any thought was given to it. If I recall correctly, when the ability to grant access to individual bank accounts was first introduced, you could type into the field, and auto-complete options would appear. When the current implementation was introduced, you definitely became restricted to a dropdown list of established bank accounts, negating any possibility of a global selection. So perhaps it was intentional.
Whether intentional or accidental, the current implementation certainly addresses the only complaints ever voiced in the forum until now — users being able to see accounts they were not supposed to see. Your post was the first I remember in which someone complained that it was too hard to give access.