On June 23, 2015 HM Treasury announced a consultation on the proposed steps that the government will take in order to make sure that the UK meets its obligation to transpose the Payment Accounts Directive (2014/92/EU) into UK law. The consultation invites views on the draft Payment Accounts Regulations 2015, which set out to minimise any negative impact on the UK industry and consumers as far as possible.

A summary of the UK’s proposed approach to implementing the Directive is available here, which includes details of the proposed approach in relation to comparison website requirements, packaged accounts and switching. A number of required changes to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 have been identified, including amendments to the FCA’s powers in respect of information gathering and sharing, investigations and discipline. There are also proposed limited changes to the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 in order to confer a new power on the PSR in respect of designating alternative switching arrangements in accordance with the requirements of Article 10(1) of the Payment Accounts Directive. Amendments will also be required to the Financial Services and Markets Act (Service of Notices) Regulations 2000 and Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Disclosure of Confidential Information) Regulations 2001.

The Directive was adopted on August 28, 2014 and member states are required to transpose its provisions into national law by September 18, 2016. The UK is aiming to finalise the measures needed to implement the Directive before the end of 2015.

What this means for you

Firms are advised to carefully read the consultation and to respond before 3 August 2015. The consultation provides more clarity on how the Directive will be transposed into UK law and, in particular, which types of accounts will fall within the scope of the UK regulations. This puts firms in a better position to assess the impact that the Directive will have on their business.