UK

Payment Systems Regulator publishes Annual Plan 2018/19

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has published its Annual Plan and Budget 2018/19. It details landmark changes which have addressed some critical issues across the payments sector over the last 12 months, and sets out the route the PSR will take this year towards continuing to realise its vision of payment systems that are: reliable, safe and fit for purpose. The Plan also reaffirms the PSR's commitment to continue the trio of exploratory work it started last year: data associated with payments, changing competitive dynamics, and consumer protection. Finally, it explore wider issues relating to the way the cards market works. The PSR will actively monitor industry changes such as the provision of ATMs in the UK, and has already been very clear in setting out key requirements of LINK - the UK's largest ATM scheme - to protect the current, widespread free access to cash.

PSR, 20 March 2018

Report on independent review of PSR board effectiveness

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published a report (originally dated 9 January 2018) of an independent review undertaken by Independent Audit Ltd into the effectiveness of the PSR board.

The review, which was carried out towards the end of 2017, recommends the following themes for the PSR to consider:

  • Composition of the board.
  • Strengthening links between board members and the wider organisation.
  • Exercising oversight of a broad range of technologically demanding matters.
  • Increasing engagement with the relevant sub-committees that perform duties on the PSR's behalf.
  • Maintaining strong collaborative relationships with the FCA.

The PSR states that the board agrees that the report was a fair reflection of the way it was currently operating and accepts that the themes identified were areas for potential improvement. Steps are already in hand to give effect to many of the suggestions made, whilst other areas are to be discussed with its new Chair when he takes up his role in April 2018, with a view to adopting them.

PSR, 16 March 2018

 

PSR Responds to push payment scam statistics

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has responded to UK Finance's annual fraud figures for 2017, which includes information on authorised push payment (APP) scams. The PSR said its work on payment scams had shown that there wasn’t good enough information about their size and nature. It asked the banks to change that and stated ‘we are now getting a glimpse of the true extent of APP fraud’. The PSR said it was ‘encouraged’ by the figures, but there was more work to do.

PSR, 15 March 2018

 

HM Treasury launches first FinTech sector strategy

HM Treasury has published its FinTech sector strategy to ensure that the UK remains competitive on a global level by reducing barriers for FinTech firms. The strategy includes announcements of the following:

  • The establishment of a new cryptoassets task force consisting of HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the FCA which will explore the risks of cryptoassets and potential benefits of the underlying distributed ledger technology;
  • Robo-regulation pilot schemes to help new FinTech firms, and the financial services industry more widely to build software that automatically complies with regulatory requirements;
  • The government's FinTech delivery panel will publish, by the end of 2018, industry standards to enable FinTechs to more easily partner with existing banks; and
  • The provision of help to new, small FinTech firms to provide complex financial services.

HM Treasury, 22 March 2018

FCA speech on establishing a global sandbox

The FCA has published a speech by Christopher Woolard, FCA Executive Director of Strategy and Competition on establishing a global sandbox, saying that collaboration with international colleagues has been a core part of the FCA's FinTech story since it launched Project Innovate in 2014. The FCA sought views in February 2018 on the merits of creating a global sandbox and Mr Woolard summarises the responses received, including suggestions on which jurisdictions should be included and the creation of a 'global dictionary' covering data needs across differing countries. Mr Woolard suggests that the sandbox could be used to explore solutions to global regulatory problems, such as tackling money laundering and financial crime.

FCA, 19 March 2018

 

WORLDWIDE

 

European Payments Council seeks stakeholders to join mobile-initiated SEPA credit transfer group

European Payments Council (EPC) is forming a new ad-hoc multi-stakeholder group, covering the various sectors involved in the mobile payment ecosystem within the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The group will develop mobile-initiated SEPA credit transfer (MSCT) interoperability implementation guidelines (including SEPA Instant Credit Transfer), while leveraging the relevant documentation developed in standardisation and industry bodies. Nominations are sought by 15 April 2018.

EPC, 16 March 2018

EBA FinTech roadmap sets out priorities for 2018/19

A roadmap on FinTech has been published by the EBA which sets out their priorities for 2018 and 2019. It has also published a set of FAQs relating to the roadmap.

EBA, 15 March 2018