I have a complaint about a bank or financial services firm, are you able to help?

Whilst we are the economic regulator of payment systems, other authorities or organisations may be better placed to answer certain queries about payments and the payments industry as a whole. Please note, we are unable to intervene in disputes with retailers or other suppliers or get money back on behalf of customers. If you wish to dispute a payment (e.g. to request a refund or if you think you have paid someone you did not intend to), you should contact the Payment Service Provider itself (e.g. the bank or card issuer) in the first instance. If you think you have been scammed, then you may also wish to contact Action Fraud.

If you wish to complain about the conduct of the firm, including if the firm has rejected your request for a refund or you are unsatisfied by their attempts to recover your funds, then you should follow their formal complaints process. If, after doing this, you are still dissatisfied with the way your complaint has been handled by the firm then you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. If you wish to complain about the conduct of a regulated firm, you may also wish to contact the FCA, which is the conduct regulator for Payment Service Providers in the UK. Finally, there are some circumstances regarding complaints about a payment systems operator (e.g. Visa, Mastercard, Pay.UK) in which we are the relevant authority. You can read more about this in ‘I have a complaint, what should I do?’. 

See table below for information regarding the different organisations that may be involved (or need to become involved) in a request we receive that relates to a disputed payment or other payments issue.  

Organisation type or name 

Appropriate areas of engagement 

A firm / Payment Service Provider (such as a current account provider or card issuer) 

If you are disputing a transaction with a firm, then in the first instance you should contact them using their published contact process. The firm may be able to trace payments or to recover money paid by using established industry procedures. 


If you wish to make a formal complaint to the firm, you may be able to obtain a complaint contact from the FCA register for FCA-regulated firms. You should always formally complain first to the firm before complaining to any other authorities. 


Payment system operators (Visa, Mastercard, Pay.UK, LINK, etc) 

If you have a complaint about the conduct or policies of a payment system operator, then in the first instance you should raise a complaint with them rather than us, even if we regulate them. 


Sectoral regulators (OfGem, OfWat, OfCom, etc) 

If you have a dispute about the conduct of a firm that may accept payments, such as a utilities company, then you are disputing their conduct and should raise it with the appropriate sectoral regulator. 


Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) 

The FOS can investigate and reach a decision on complaints made about financial services organisations. They will consider individual cases and set out what should happen in relation to disputes that you might have been unable to resolve with the financial services provider. 



The FCA is responsible for regulating the conduct of firms on the financial services register, for authorised financial services and products. 



The PSR is the economic regulator for payment systems in the UK. For more examples of complaints which we may be able to get involved, please see ‘I have a complaint’ , what should I do?’.  


*Crypto-assets are an example of an unauthorised financial service 


If my complaint falls under the remit of another regulator, can you pass it on to them?

Due to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), we are unable to directly share any complaints we receive with the appropriate regulator unless you give us written permission to do so in your correspondence.

I have a complaint, what should I do?

As an economic regulator rather than a conduct regulator, the PSR does not handle queries or complaints from consumers about individual payments, including about refunds. If you’ve had a problem making a payment, obtaining a refund, or suspect fraudulent activity (including if you have fallen victim to an APP scam), the best thing to do first is contact your account provider (e.g., your bank) or your card issuer. If you feel the situation is still not resolved and want to complain, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service

However, there are areas under which the PSR can hear complaints and disputes. We have separate processes for handling different types of complaint or dispute which we set out further details of below.  

Complaints about legal obligations 

If you are part of the UK payment systems industry and have a complaint about a breach or a failure to comply with a legal obligation within the PSR’s remit, then the PSR may investigate your complaint.  

Examples of complaints that the PSR may look into include those concerning a regulatory direction we have made, a regulatory requirement or rule we have imposed, or a decision we have issued. You can find further information about the general complaints process.

We can also investigate complaints about breaches of other legislation for which we are the relevant authority. This includes: 

  • Competition rules: We may consider complaints with regards to anti-competitive agreements and/or abuses of dominance under Part 1 of the Competition Act 1998 relating to participation in payment systems. You can read more in our guidance.
  • Payment Services Regulations 2017: Under Regulation 61 and Part 8 we can consider complaints with regards to information on ATM withdrawal charges and access to payment systems and bank accounts. You can read more in our guidance here.
  • The Interchange Fee Regulations: You can read more in our guidance here.  
  • Payment Accounts Regulations 2015: The PSR will assess complaints made to us about a designated switching scheme for the purpose of determining whether or not a scheme should remain a designated switching scheme. You can read more in paragraphs 5.8 to 5.11 of our guidance here

Please note that for us to consider whether a complaint falls within our remit we will need detailed information. Complainants should submit a reasoned case which sets out the facts, why you think a legal obligation is being breached or not complied with, and why you think the PSR should intervene. 

Super complaints 

Certain representative bodies designated by HM Treasury have the right to make 'super-complaints' to the PSR if they believe that features of the payment systems market in the UK are, or appear to be, significantly damaging to the interests of service-users. Further details on super complaints can be found here


Disputes are disagreements between participants, or between participants and service-users. The main kind of dispute the PSR may review or investigate is covered by sections 56 and 57 FSBRA. Applications about these disputes relate to access to payment systems – either granting new access, or modifying the fees, charges, terms of conditions of existing access to payment systems or participation in payment systems. Further details can be found here

Other disputes between participants, or between participants and service-users (over matters other than access to payment systems under sections 56 or 57 FSBRA) may also be put to us for consideration, but we are not a substitute or alternative to the courts in determining and enforcing private legal rights.  

I’ve fallen victim to an scam, are you able to help?

The PSR is unable to investigate individual cases of fraud. If you have fallen victim to a scam, you should first contact your bank, building society or other relevant financial organisation to report any loss.  

Other organisations you may wish to contact if you have not already done so are: 

Firms offering financial services in the UK must generally be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can use the FCA’s Financial Services Register to check whether a firm is authorised by the FCA. If you’ve fallen victim to a clone firm (a firm which is not authorised or registered by the FCA but claims to be), you can report it to the FCA on their website.

Does the PSR ask consumers for money?

No - we would never ask a consumer for money or personal information, like bank account details or internet banking passwords. 

All PSR email addresses end with @psr.org.uk. Scam emails and letters also often contain spelling mistakes and poor grammar. 

If you receive a suspicious email, call or message via social media from the PSR asking you for money please forward us the email or phone number at contactus@psr.org.uk  immediately. 

How can I stop myself falling victim to a scam?

Scammers may contact you by email, post or a phone call and claim to be from the PSR or use the name of an employee, to give the impression that the communication is genuine. Communications may even contain email addresses and logos which seem authentic. 

Fraudsters use a number of techniques, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Keep in mind that we never contact members of the public asking for money or bank account details. Here are some tips  

  • Check who you’re talking to. If someone is claiming to be from your bank, the PSR or another financial regulator like the FCA, and has contacted you out of the blue asking for money, hang up the phone and get in touch with the organisation directly using their publicly listed contact details. 
  • Look a little closer. There may be details in the email, letter or phone call that indicate it is not from a genuine source, such as it listing an overseas contact phone number or an email address from a Hotmail or Gmail account. Scam emails and letters also often contain spelling mistakes and poor grammar. 
  • Take five. Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into sending money or revealing your personal details. Fraudsters will try to panic you into sending them funds by claiming your account is at risk or that you’ll lose money if you don’t act now. Trustworthy organisations don’t do this. Take a deep breath and talk about your concerns with a friend or family member. 
  • Say no. No need to be polite, just hang up the phone or end the interaction.


What if I’ve already fallen victim to a scam?

If you have fallen victim to a scam you should contact your local Police station and Action Fraud.

If you have already shared your banking information you should also call your bank immediately to let them know what has happened so they can protect your account. 

How does protection differ between payment systems?

Different payment methods come with different levels of protection for the customers who use them, which can affect how (or if at all) you get your money back if something goes wrong with your purchase, such as the seller stops trading or there is a problem with the goods you have bought.  

Both credit and debit cards allow customers to ask for a chargeback if there are any disputed transactions, though this is a voluntary system operated by the card schemes, so you are not guaranteed to get your money back.  

If you use a credit card to buy goods or services and there are problems, and you paid some (or all) of the cost by credit card and the cash price of the goods is more than £100 but less than £30,000 then the transaction could be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This allows you to raise a claim against your credit card provider and you may be able to get your money back. 

Always check with the retailer and your bank or card provider whether they offer refunds before making a purchase.  

Other organisations you may wish to contact are: 


I think the PSR should investigate a particular payments related matter. How should I let the PSR know?

We log all relevant emails that we receive as part of our general payments sector intelligence gathering work. The intelligence we gather supports our decision-making regarding our programme of work; this includes deciding on what issues (existing or emerging) we should prioritise for monitoring and/or take action on, using the resources we have available. 

We may not always be able to respond to every piece of intelligence that we receive. Moreover, we are not always able to carry out actions on every issue as we must use our resources in the most efficient and effective way to further our statutory objectives, functions, and duties. Our programme of work is carried out in accordance with our Administrative Priority Framework and the PSR Strategy

I wish to register as an authorised payment institution or electronic money institution

Whilst we are the economic regulator of payment systems, in order to apply to become an authorised payment institution or electronic money institution you will have to contact the FCA.