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PSR PS 15/2: Final Guidance - Competition Act 1998 & Market Reviews, Market Studies and Market Investigation References

Published 13 08 2015

Earlier this year we consulted on our concurrent competition powers in parallel with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Read our responses to your consultation feedback and both sets of final guidance.

Or you can read the final guidance as standalone documents:

Why we are publishing these documents?

These documents explain how we will use our competition powers effectively and efficiently. This should benefit consumers and businesses who use, or are likely to use, the services provided by payment systems. We will achieve this through monitoring, detecting, enforcing against and deterring anti-competitive behaviour in relation to participation in payment systems in the UK.

Who should read these documents?

Our two guidance documents are relevant to payment system operators, banks, building societies and other payment service providers (PSPs), infrastructure providers, service-users of UK payment systems, trade bodies, consumer groups and other persons interested in UK payment systems.

The background

The PSR was incorporated as a subsidiary of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on 1 April 2014. We became fully operational on 1 April 2015.

We have had competition powers under the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA02) since 1 April 2014 and we obtained competition powers under the Competition Act 1998 (CA98) on 1 April 2015.

We have powers under EA02 to carry out market studies, and to make market investigation references to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) relating to participation in payment systems. We also have powers to enforce the prohibitions in CA98 (and the corresponding European prohibitions) on anti-competitive behaviour in relation to participation in payment systems.

These competition powers may also be exercised by the CMA with regard to payment systems (and the services they provide) as well as to all sectors of the economy. This means that, the CMA and the PSR have ‘concurrent powers’ and the PSR is a ‘concurrent regulator’ when it comes to participation in payment systems.

These powers are additional to our ability to use our regulatory powers under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (FSBRA) in pursuit of our competition, innovation and service-user objectives, including carrying out FSBRA market reviews.

What are the next steps?

We will keep these documents under regular review and will update them if our understanding of best practice changes.

For more information

If you are interested in learning more about our regulatory approach, read: