Opening remarks from Ruth Evans, chair of the Payments Strategy Forum


Speech by Ruth Evans, Chair of the Payments Strategy Forum, at the Payments Strategy Forum Payments Community Event on 17 September 2015 in London.

This is the text of the speech as drafted and may differ from the delivered version.

Good morning everyone. As you have just heard, my name is Ruth Evans and I’m new the new Chair of the Payments Strategy Forum.

I am independent of the payments industry, but appointed by and accountable to the PSR.

I have a background in representing the public and consumer interest in a wide range of organisations and industries, including Financial Services; on commercial boards, regulatory authorities, charities and non-departmental bodies such as the National Consumer Council.

However, with my new role on the Forum, I will not only champion the needs of consumers, but also the broader range of businesses, corporates and other organisations that use payment systems – by ensuring their voice is heard at the Forum.

My role on the Forum

Although I’m meeting you for the first time today, behind the scenes I’ve already been working closely with the PSR, helping them to appoint the Forum’s members.

This was a really unique process and one of the bigger challenges I’ve faced at the beginning of a role.

 I know that some of you in the room will be disappointed that you haven’t been selected. I want to assure you that as we take the Forum forward, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to have a direct input into discussions, whether you’re at the table or not – I’ll say more about how we will achieve this in a moment.

Chairing the Forum

Once the Forum begins to meet in October my role will be very much focussed on guiding the discussions in order to reach consensus between its members, and helping it to get over any barriers.

No doubt, given the diversity of the Forum’s membership and the range of issues to discuss, this will be a challenge – but it is one which I am determined to face head-on.

That’s because there is a huge prize at the end of the day, if we can get this right. By developing a strategy that builds on the UK’s already-excellent payment systems, we can guarantee that the UK will continue to have payment systems that are the envy of the world.

How will the Forum work?

The Forum will meet up to six times per year supported by working groups, where necessary, to undertake further detailed work as required.

The Forum itself, for those of you who don’t yet know, will bring together 22 individual experts; broadly representing both the ‘supply’ and ‘demand’ sides of the industry.

The Forum’s work will be supported by a number of working groups, which will look at possible solutions and carry out rigorous cost benefit analysis for any strategic initiatives the Forum identifies.

The PSR will provide a secretariat to support the Forum’s work and will be actively engaging in its discussions.

We’ll also have the support of other regulators in this space – the Bank of England and the FCA, who will join us in meetings.

The role of the Operators

Obviously, the