We are reviewing our 2015 Directions to ensure that they remain relevant and proportionate, reflecting market realities, changes to legislation and potential future developments.

In March 2015, we published our policy statement PS15/1. In it we announced seven Directions that we had made under section 54 of the Financial Service (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (FSBRA). 

There were six General Directions (GDs)  and one Specific Direction (SD), which came into effect between April and September 2015. These were intended to improve access to, and the governance of, payment systems in the UK.

What are the Directions?

 Purpose of the Direction



  • Opening up access to payment systems
  • Making information on access options, including indirect access services,  publicly available

 GDs 2 and 3 (on direct access) and SD1 (on   indirect access)



  • Improving service-user representation in PSO decision-making structures
  • Improving transparency of decision-making through the publication of board minutes
  • Avoiding a specific conflict of interest (simultaneous directorship of an operator and its central infrastructure provider)

 GDs 4, 5 and 6

  • To ensure regulated participants dealt with us in an open and co-operative way and  disclosed relevant information to us


Why are we conducting a review?

We publish an annual report on access and governance in payment systems, which includes the state of compliance with our relevant Directions.

In the second of these reports, published in March 2017, we committed to reviewing GDs 2, 3 and 4 and SD1. We have decided to review all of our 2015 Directions at the same time.

This review takes account of our experience of applying and enforcing the Directions in practice. We have also taken account of market and legislative changes (such as the implementation of PSD2) the since we adopted the Directions.

In this consultation paper, we set out where our review has led us so far, including our current thinking on whether any changes are necessary and appropriate for each Direction.

What do we want to achieve?

It is important that we keep under review the effectiveness of our Directions and ensure that they:

  • advance our statutory objectives and duties – including promoting competition, innovation and the interests of service-users, by delivering the outcomes we want
  • are relevant, proportionate, targeted and reflect the principles of better regulation
  • are capable of being effectively monitored and enforced by us

Your feedback will help inform our review and come to a conclusion on whether, and if so how, to take forward any changes to our Directions

Following this consultation, we will take one of three broad actions for each Direction:

  • retain it in its present form
  • revise it to better achieve what it was intended to do
  • revoke it if circumstances have changed meaning we can step back from intervening directly.

Next steps

We welcome stakeholder feedback to our questions by 5pm on Friday 8 June 2018.

You can email us at directionsreview@psr.org.uk or write to us at the following address:

Payment Systems Regulator

Directions review consultation team

25 The North Colonnade

Canary Wharf


We also intend to hold a number of sessions to discuss our current thinking and explore your views as part of our consultation process. If you would like to take part in one of these sessions, please contact us.

We will issue a policy statement in due course summarising responses to this consultation and our views. Any changes to the Directions will be subject to separate consultation on the proposed revised text of the Directions later in 2018.

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