We’ve published our final decision on the remedies we proposed as part as part of our market review into the ownership and competitiveness of central payment systems infrastructure provision.

Background to the decision

In July 2016 we published our final report into the ownership and competitiveness of the central infrastructure that supports the three interbank payment systems - Bacs, Faster Payments Service (FPS) and LINK.

This market review is part of wider work we’ve been doing over the past two years to encourage competition and innovation across the payments industry.

We found there to be no effective competition in the provision of central infrastructure services for these systems.

To address this, we consulted on a range of measures and set out further assessment of the ownership issues identified in our final report.

What decision was made?

We have taken into account all the evidence and information provided by stakeholders, including responses to our December 2016 remedies consultation.

We have decided to implement two remedies:

  • To undertake a competitive procurement process of future central infrastructure contracts.
  • To adopt a common international messaging standard for Bacs and Faster Payments to make it easier for new entrants to access payment systems.

Given the Mastercard acquisition of Vocalink, we are not imposing a divestment remedy. We consider that the acquisition is effective in addressing the ownership related competition problems we identified. 

We have produced a factsheet that summarises these remedies which you may find useful.

Next Steps

The market review is now complete. We now expect the industry to begin preparations for several procurement exercises, including for any central infrastructure requirements for the Payments Strategy Forum’s new payments architecture.

Additional information

Read Annex 1 & 2 to the remedies decision

Read Annex 3 to the remedies decision

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