On October 14, 2014, HM Treasury (“HMT”) issued a consultation paper on the designation of payment systems for regulation by the Payment Systems Regulator (“PSR”), the new regulator charged with increasing competition and regulating retail payment systems in the UK. Under the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (“Banking Reform Act”), HMT is empowered to designate payment systems for regulation by the PSR. The consultation paper sets out the criteria for the designation, as well as those payment systems that HMT believes already meet the criteria and which it proposes to designate and bring within the powers of the PSR. HMT proposes to designate Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payments, Link, Cheque and Credit, Northern Ireland clearing, Visa and MasterCard as payment systems. Some of these are already interbank payment systems regulated by the Bank of England. However, the Banking Reform Act expressly excludes the Bank of England from the scope of the PSR. The consultation closes on November 11, 2014. Designation will be effective from April 1, 2015, when the PSR becomes fully operational.

The consultation paper is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/designation-of-payment-systems-for-regulation-by-the-payment-systems-regulator/designation-of-payment-systems-for-regulation-by-the-payment-systems-regulator.