On December 16, 2015, HM Treasury published the Payment Account Regulations together with an explanatory memorandum. The Regulations implement the Payment Accounts Directive which sets common standards for payment service providers across EU Member States. The three main policy objectives of the PAD are: (i) to improve transparency and comparability of payment account fees used on a daily basis for payment transactions (i.e. personal current accounts); (ii) to make it less burdensome for consumers to be able to move their current account from one payment service provider to another; and (iii) to ensure that EU residents have access to banking services and that a sufficient number of accounts that offer basic features are available. The new Regulations cover: (i) the obligations on payment service providers to enable consumers to make informed choices when choosing a payment account; (ii) non-discrimination in the provision of and access to payments accounts; and (iii) switching payments accounts and the facilitation of cross-border account opening for consumers. The Regulations will enter into force on September 18, 2016 except for those provisions related to the obligation of the FCA to publish a list of the most representative services linked to a payment account and subject to a fee which will come into effect six months after the publication of that list.
The Regulations are available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/2038/pdfs/uksi_20152038_en.pdf.