On March 15, 2016, the Payment Systems Regulator published a consultation paper on the application of the Payment Account Regulations 2015 to alternative arrangements for switching accounts, including draft guidance on its approach to designating alternative switching schemes and monitoring of the PSR’s compliance under the PAR. The EU Payment Accounts Directive was transposed into UK law through the PARs. The Payment Accounts Directive outlines the mandatory regulatory standards for EU Member States for matters such as facilitating current account switching and ensuring access to bank accounts with basic features. Provisions in the PAR relating to the role of the PSR will come into effect on September 18, 2016. The PSR’s proposed guidance explains how to apply for designation as an “alternative arrangement” for switching, how the PSR will assess applications for designation, and how the PSR will monitor and enforce compliance of alternative arrangements for switching. Comments on the proposals are required by April 12, 2016.

The PSR consultation paper is available at: https://www.psr.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/PDF/CP161-PARsconsultation-paper.pdf and the PSR draft guidance is available at: https://www.psr.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/PDF/CP161-PARs-draft-guidance.pdf.