On June 30, 2015, the Payment Systems Regulator published the final terms of reference for its market review into the ownership and competitiveness of the UK payments system infrastructure. The review aims to ascertain whether current infrastructure services are effective for service users and able to support new developments and innovations. The review focuses in particular on interbank payment systems BACS, FPS and Link, and is based around the seven following questions: (i) whether there is effective competition in the provision of infrastructure services in interbank payments; (ii) whether current ownership arrangements of infrastructure providers affect competition; (iii) whether there are any barriers to effective competition; (iv) what the likelihood is of entry or expansion in respect of provision of infrastructure services; (v) whether there are any efficiencies resulting from the present ownership arrangements; (vi) how demand affects competition in the provision of infrastructure services; and (vii) what the benefits of greater levels of competition might be. The review will aim to address any concerns identified with a view to publishing new directions, recommendations or guidance if necessary, as well as encouraging further industry initiatives and self-regulation if needed. The PSR welcomes views on the key questions outlined in the terms of reference and aims to publish its final report in the second quarter of 2016.
The terms of reference are available at: https://www.psr.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/PDF/Infrastructure%20final%20terms%20of%20reference.pdf.