The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are today outlining how they will monitor and enforce the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSRs 2017), which come into effect from January 2018. The PSRs 2017 will implement the second EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) into UK law.

The PSR will monitor and enforce particular rules, covering requests by payment service providers (PSPs) to get access to payment systems. Under these rules, banks and payment system operators must treat the requests in an objective, proportionate and non-discriminatory way.

The PSR’s approach document makes it clear that indirect access providers (IAPs) can still choose which organisations they will provide access to, but they must consider each request on its own merits. If an IAP decides not to give a PSP access, it must tell the PSP why.

The approach document also explains the PSR’s and FCA’s approach to monitoring and enforcing new rules on access to bank accounts for payment institutions. The two regulators are jointly responsible for this provision, and have worked closely together to develop their approach.

'The PSR’s statutory objectives are consistent with PSD2’s aims of promoting competition and encouraging innovation. Since our establishment we have taken a range of actions that have substantially improved the choice and quality of access available to payment service providers. PSD2 complements and builds on our work.

'This is good news for all service-users, who will benefit from a choice of payment service providers and the innovative products they can offer.'

Full details of the requirements under the PSRs 2017 and how the regulator will enforce them can be found in its final approach document.

  1. The revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) is an EU Directive which will affect all payment service providers, and aims to promote competition, encourage innovation and enhance consumer protection. The Payment Services Regulations 2017 (PSRs 2017) will implement PSD2 into UK law.
  2. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the competent authority for most provisions of the PSRs 2017, but the PSR is the competent authority for Regulation 61 and part 8 (Regulations 102-105), and is responsible for monitoring and enforcing these regulations.
    • Regulation 61: Information on ATM withdrawal charges
    • Regulation 103: Prohibition on restrictive rules on access to payment systems
    • Regulation 104: Indirect access to designated payment systems
    • Regulation 105: Access to bank accounts (the PSR and the FCA are both competent authorities for this regulation)
  3. Through its existing functions under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013, the PSR has been working on improving access to payment systems and making the governance of payment system operators more inclusive and transparent, as outlined in its Access and Governance report on payment systems 2017.
  4. The PSR has three statutory objectives: (i) 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; (ii) to promote the development of innovation in payment systems, including in particular the infrastructure used to operate payment systems, in the interest of service-users; and (iii) to ensure that payment systems are operated and developed in a way that considers and promotes the interests of service-users.
  5. The PSR is the regulator and concurrent competition authority for payment systems in the UK and all participants in those payment systems (payment service providers, payment system operators and infrastructure providers to those payment systems).
  6. The PSR website.