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PSR MR15/2 Market review into the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision - draft Terms of Reference

Published 25 03 2015
Last updated 30 06 2015

Payments infrastructure allows customers to make and receive payments. It is the hardware, software, connections and operating environments used across all levels of a payment system. It makes sure for example, we can receive our salary when we expect.

Read the draft Terms of Reference

We have produced a factsheet to summarise the key points.

Update: 25 February 2016 we published the interim report. On 30 June 2015 we published the final terms of reference for this review. 

Why are we doing this market review?

Currently, a small number of banks jointly own both, the Bacs, Faster Payments Service and LINK payment systems and the central infrastructure for those systems (i.e. VocaLink). This means these banks make the decisions about infrastructure for these payment systems.

Whilst this ownership arrangement has resulted in payment systems that are relatively robust and resilient and has helped keep costs down, it may also:

  • limit competition and in turn, limit innovation and/or
  • allow these banks  to influence developments in a way that may be in their own interests rather than in the interests of all PSPs and customers

What will our review cover?

We are examining how infrastructure is provided for certain payment systems in the UK. As part of this we will:

  • investigate whether payments infrastructure works in the interests of users of the payment systems; and
  • consider whether or not current infrastructure ownership arrangements and market structure restrict competition or innovation

How long will it take?

Over the next four weeks, we will take comments on the scope of this review and finalise the terms of reference towards the end of May. At that stage we will publish a more detailed timetable.

We currently expect it will take about 12 months to complete the review and report on our findings. If we decide there is a need to carry out actions to improve the market, we expect this will take a further six months.

How do I get involved?

Please direct any queries you may have about this market review to infrastructurereview@psr.org.uk, or in writing to:

Infrastructure Market Review Team
Payment Systems Regulator (15th Floor)
25 The North Colonnade 
Canary Wharf
London E14 5HS