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PSR MR15/2.1 - Final terms of reference: market review into the ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision

Published 30 06 2015
Last updated 10 07 2015

We believe it is important for UK payment infrastructure to be able to support new developments and innovations. To that end we are carrying out a market review into the ownership structures of, and competition in, the provision of payment systems infrastructure.

We first announced the review in November 2014, then in March 2015 we published the draft terms of reference.  We have published, following consultation, the final terms of reference that we will use to conduct the review.

Read the final terms of reference.

Update: On 25 February 2016 we published the interim findings of our market review.

What is payment systems infrastructure?

The payment systems infrastructure is essentially the hardware, software, secure telecommunications network and operating environments that are used to manage and operate payment systems.

The infrastructure is important because it supports the clearing and/or settlement of a payment or funds transfer request after it has been initiated.

Why we are conducting this review

This review will consider whether the current provision of infrastructure services in UK interbank payment systems delivers a good outcome for service-users.

The key question we will explore is:

  • Is competition effective in the provision of infrastructure services related to interbank payment systems, and if not, what are the reasons for this?

This review is focused on the supply of infrastructure services related to interbank payment systems for Bacs, Faster Payments Scheme, and LINK.

What this document contains

This document sets out the revised terms of reference, outlines our anticipated work programme and what could happen as a result of the review.  It also explains how this market review and other work (past and anticipated) form part of the PSR’s programme of work.

In Appendix 1 we set out an indicative timetable for the review and in Appendix 2 we summarise the responses to the consultation received.  Appendix 3 provides a glossary.

How do the draft and final terms of reference differ?

We received 11 submissions, many of which were supportive of the review. We have taken these submissions into account finalising these terms of reference.

What happens now?

We are now embarking on the information gathering phase of the review to collect further evidence and information from stakeholders.

We've published our interim report, and expect to publish a final report in Summer 2016.

If we believe we need to take further action we will set out and consult upon proposed actions. This will happen after publication of the final report.

Further input to this review

We welcome views and evidence which will help to inform our assessment of the key questions outlined in this document. Please send your comments to infrastructurereview@psr.org.uk. Or in writing to:

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