In response to the introduction of the Payments Accounts Regulations (PARs) the FCA is proposing Handbook changes and new guidance designed to help payment service providers with the implementation of the PARs. 

The PARs, made in December 2015, implement the Payment Accounts Directive in the UK.  The provisions on switching, payment accounts with basic features, and packaged accounts come into force on 18 September 2016.

The FCA has invited feedback on changes to be made to the Handbook and on proposed non-Handbook guidance to assist PSPs with the implementation of certain aspects of the PARs.

The FCA proposes to

  • issue guidance on the definition of a “payment account” for the purposes of the PARs
  • issue guidance on the implementation of the provisions on packaged accounts
  • introduce new regulatory reporting requirements in relation to switching and payment accounts with basic features.

What this means for you

After HM Treasury's statement that it would not provide further guidance on the definition of “payment account”, it is helpful that the FCA has now done this.  Responding to the consultation in relation to implementing the further guidance that is given and, in particular, responding to the FCA’s list of questions by the deadline of 3 May 2016 is the next key step.