The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), the economic regulator for UK payment systems, has today announced the appointment of Paul Smith as its Head of Policy.
Paul has a wealth of experience working for UK regulators, having previously held roles at Postcomm (now Ofcom) and Ofgem. He joins the PSR from the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) where he served as Chief Executive.

Paul will step into his new role on 01 February 2016. A full biography for Paul can be found in the notes to editors section, below.

As Head of Policy, Paul will be responsible for leading the development of regulatory policy and working with the industry to deliver the statutory objectives of the organisation. This includes ensuring that payments systems are operated and developed in the best interests of businesses and consumers, promoting competition within the industry and supporting innovation in payments systems.

Speaking about the appointment, Paul Smith said:

"The PSR has, in a very short time, established itself as an important and influential regulator that plays a vital role in the payments industry and across the wider financial sector.

"The challenges that the industry will encounter over the coming years will need a regulator that has a steady hand on the tiller and I relish the opportunity to join such an important organisation at such an interesting time.”

Hannah Nixon, Managing Director, Payment Systems Regulator, said:

"As our organisation continues to grow, so will the importance of having a strong team that can work with the industry to make sure payment systems work as well as they can.

"Paul brings with him a wealth of experience that will help to strengthen our senior leadership team and allow us to achieve these goals.”

Notes to editors

  1. Biographical notes: An economist by trade, Paul has a strong track record in economic regulation in both Britain and Australia. He has held various roles at Ofgas (later Ofgem), including as Head of Market Surveillance, before moving to become Deputy Director of Price Control at the postal service regulator, Postcomm (now Ofcom). Most recently Paul was Chief Executive of the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) having been promoted from the position of Senior Director, Strategy and Economic Analysis. He also spent four years as Principal of Cambridge Economic Policy Associates, which provides economic and financial consultancy services.
  2. The PSR was incorporated on 1 April 2014 and became fully operational on 1 April 2015.
  3. The PSR has three statutory objectives: to promote effective competition in the markets for payment systems and for services provided by those systems, including between operators, payment service providers and also infrastructure providers, in the interest of service-users; to promote the development of innovation in payment systems, in particular the infrastructure used to operate payment systems, in the interest of service-users; and to ensure that payment systems are operated and developed in a way that considers and promotes the interests of service-users.
  4. The PSR is responsible for the regulation of designated payment systems and all participants in those payment systems (payment service providers, operators and infrastructure providers to those payment systems).
  5. The PSR website.