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Making a FOIA request

Requests for information, that is not already published on our website, must be made in writing using the Freedom of Information request form, including your contact details.

All requests will be acknowledged and we may contact you to discuss your request.

Please be specific about the information you would like to receive and provide any additional information that would help us with our searches - such as the subject matter and a timeframe. If information requested is held by another public authority we will inform you.

If you require personal information about yourself it should be requested under the Data Protection Act 1998 as personal data is exempt under section 40 of FOIA.

Find more information on privacy and data protection.

How much does it cost?

We don’t charge for finding information for requests that would cost less than £450 to fulfil. The right to access information needs to be balanced by our need to carry out our core regulatory duties economically, efficiently and effectively.

Under FOIA we can decline to comply with requests for information where the cost of finding the information would be over £450. For more information on fees we may charge under FOIA, including for postage, see our Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations Fees Statement.

Exemptions

Under FOIA public authorities are entitled to withhold information when an appropriate exemption can be applied. Exemptions can be absolute or qualified. If an exemption is absolute it applies automatically. For qualified exemptions it is necessary to balance the public interest arguments for and against disclosing the information when deciding whether or not to make the disclosure. FOIA requires public authorities to disclose information unless there is good reason not to.

Section 44(1) (b) FOIA is an example of an absolute exemption. It prohibits disclosure of information where disclosure is prohibited under other legislation. For example, sections 91 and 94 of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (FSBRA) impose restrictions on disclosure of confidential information received in the course of carrying out our regulatory duties. This means that confidential information given to us by third parties is likely to be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

An example of a qualified exemption is section 22 FOIA – information intended for future publication. Under this exemption public authorities do not need to disclose information they are preparing and intend to publish. This exemption is qualified by the public interest test.

For further information about the various exemptions that exist under FOIA see:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Qualified Persons exemption

Section 36 FOIA allows a request for information to be refused where, in the reasonable opinion of a Qualified Person, disclosure of the information would or would be likely to:

  • inhibit the free and frank provision of advice, or
  • inhibit the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation, or
  • otherwise prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.

All of the members of the PSR Board have been approved by the Treasury as Qualified Persons and so any one of them could act as a Qualified Person in a section 36 FOIA case.

How long does it take?

FOIA requires us to respond within 20 working days from the date a request is received. The exceptions are where:

  • a qualified exemption applies and the public interest test needs to be considered
  • clarification is required from the applicant

Internal review

If you are not satisfied with our response to a Right to Know request under FOIA you are entitled to request an internal review. We aim to handle all reviews within 20 working days. If you are not satisfied with the review results you can appeal to the ICO. You can find more details on the PSR's internal review process in the box on the top right.

Re-use of PSR information

Under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, public authorities can grant permission for the information they produce to be re-used. Our copyright and website content page sets out the relevant conditions for using extracts for personal use or within firms or organisations for internal use. Where firms or organisations wish to publish information produced by us they will need to seek permission - unless it is on our list of documents that can be re-used (to be confirmed).

If you want to re-use PSR information please contact us.

Where you have permission to re-use our information based on the limited internal use exception (see above) or by applying to us, the conditions of use on our copyright and website content page apply, including that documents must not be modified in any way and our copyright notice (© The Payment Systems Regulator) must appear on all copies.

Where we permit re-use of our information, we will not charge for this, except:

  • Where a charge is expressly stated for re-use of a document in the list above
  • Where we are required to amend the data in some way, for example by reformatting, editing or providing additional comment, interpretation or access to software or other materials.

Where additional work is required, the following charges are likely to apply:

  • £250 plus VAT - providing the input from us is minimal (typically 18-30 hours)
  • £750 plus VAT - where significant input from us is required (typically over 30 hours)

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request for permission to re-use PSR information go to complaints against the PSR.

Environmental information

Under the Environmental Regulations 2004 you have the right to request certain environmental information from us. A reasonable charge may be made for providing this information. See our Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations Fees Statement.

Legislation

Further information

If you need any further information you can email us at: psrfoi@psr.org.uk or contact the FCA FOIA helpline: 020 7066 8080

Information Commissioner’s Office