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New regulator for payment systems industry 05/03/2014 A new regulator to oversee UK payment systems will be in place by April 2015 and so the Financial Conduct Authority is seeking views on key issues facing the sector

New regulator for payment systems industry

A new regulator to oversee UK payment systems will be in place by April 2015 and with this in mind the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is asking for views on the key issues facing the sector. It hopes to use the comments to help shape the focus of the work of the new regulator.

The new regulator is being created under the Banking Reform Act (2013) and will be a subsidiary of the FCA, although it will operate independently and have its own board and managing director. It has three objectives:

  • promoting competition,
  • promoting innovation and
  • ensuring that payment systems operate in the interests of their users.

There are a number of payment systems in use in the UK, and HM Treasury will consult on which payment systems will be overseen by the new regulator later this year. 

Competition will be high on the agenda of the new regulator. The largest payment systems are owned and managed by the big banks, but concerns have been raised that the sector lacks transparency and innovation. It also needs to be easier for challenger banks to access these systems and compete with the bigger players.

“This sector is critical to the economy so it must reflect the needs of people and firms and enjoy their confidence,” said Martin Wheatley, FCA chief executive. “We need to know if the sector is as open as it should be to new entrants into the market and whether consumers are getting the best possible deal.”

Responses are requested by 15th April 2014.

 

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