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PSR CP 16/1: The application of the Payment Accounts Regulations in the UK

Published 15 03 2016
Closes 12 04 2016

We are consulting on draft guidance on our approach to designating alternative switching schemes and monitoring their ongoing compliance under Reg.15 of the Payment Accounts Regulations 2015 (PARs), in the UK.

We are seeking stakeholders’ views on our proposed approach to implementing the PARs by Tuesday 12 April 2016.

HM Treasury has appointed the PSR as the competent authority under the PARs for designating alternative switching schemes.

The accompanying draft guidance explains how we will implement, monitor and enforce compliance with the designation criteria that will come in to force on 18 September 2016.

Background

On 23 July 2014 the EU Parliament adopted the Payment Accounts Directive (PAD) this sets common regulatory standards across EU Member States to ensure payment accounts work well.

It aims to:

  • improve transparency and comparability of current account fees
  • facilitate current account switching
  • ensure access to bank accounts with basic features

The PARs transpose the PAD into UK law.

Why are we publishing this document?

We are publishing this paper to share our proposed approach to implementing the PARs and welcome stakeholders’ views.

Who should read this paper?

This consultation is relevant to potential operators of alternative switching schemes and the payment service providers who participate or propose to participate in them as well as to consumers and relevant authorities.

What is the PSR’s role?

The PSR, along with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has been appointed as the competent authority for the PARs in the UK.

The FCA is responsible for ensuring that payment service providers (PSPs) offer their customers a switching service between payment accounts in scope of the PARs.

We are responsible for designating and monitoring alternative switching schemes. In order for operators of an alternative switching scheme to be designated they must apply to the PSR and ensure they meet the three designation criteria set out in the PARs.

We must be satisfied that the scheme:

  • is clearly in the interest of the consumer
  • does not impose any burden on the consumer additional to those allowed by the PARs
  • completes the switch within the timeframe set out in the PARs

Next steps

We welcome your feedback on our draft guidance, by 5pm on Tuesday 12 April 2016. We will assess any applications for designation and issue our final approach in summer 2016.

You can respond to our consultation by sending your comments to: PSRconsultations@psr.org.uk