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PS 16/2: The application of the Payment Accounts Regulations in the UK

Published 17 05 2016

The PSR has been appointed by the Treasury as the competent authority to designate alternative switching schemes and monitor their ongoing compliance under Reg.15 of the Payment Accounts Regulations (PARs), in the UK.

We have published a policy statement that summarises our feedback to your consultation responses and final guidance on our approach to implementing the PARs in respect of alternative switching schemes.

Background

On 23 July 2014 the EU Parliament adopted the Payment Accounts Directive (PAD) which 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 guidance?

In March 2016 we consulted on our proposed approach to implementing the provisions of the PARs that we are responsible for. They will come in to force on 18 September 2016.

The final guidance we are publishing includes:

  • our approach to evaluating an application for designation as an alternative switching scheme
  • the application process for a switching scheme to be designated as an alternative switching scheme
  • our approach to collecting fees under the PARs
  • our approach to monitoring compliance with PARs requirements after we have designated an alternative switching scheme

Our guidance also describes our powers and procedures under the PARs, and our approach to applying penalties for PARs non-compliance.

In order for an alternative switching scheme to be designated, its operator must apply to the PSR and ensure the service meets the three designation criteria set out in the PARs.

Who should read this guidance?

This guidance is relevant to operators of alternative switching schemes that wish to be designated and the payment service providers who participate or propose to participate in them as well as to consumers and relevant authorities.

What are the next steps?

Operators of alternative switching schemes that wish to be designated under the PARs by 18th September 2016 should submit their application to us by 10 June 2016. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified of our designation decision by 18th September 2016.

Applicants will be required to pay a one-off application fee of £5,000, for the fee year 2016/17 at the time application is submitted. The fee covers the application process.

For more information

For more information on the payment of the one-off application fee or any questions relating to the application process please contact us at: PARsimplentation@PSR.org.uk