On November 14, 2014, the Payment Systems Regulator (“PSR”), which is a subsidiary of the FCA, published proposals for a new regulatory framework for payment systems in the UK. The PSR is a new UK regulator which will regulate the largest UK payment systems from April 1, 2015. HM Treasury is responsible for designating the payment systems that will be subject to regulation and consulted on its proposals earlier this year which included the proposed designation of Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payment Service, LINK, Cheque and Credit Clearing, Northern Ireland Cheque Clearing, MasterCard and Visa. 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. Regulation of a payment system will include the operator of the payment systems, the payment service providers and the infrastructure providers to the payment system. The PSR is consulting on proposals on: (i) an approach to industry strategy development for which it intends to set up a new Payments Strategy Forum and to launch a market review into ownership and competitiveness of infrastructure provision; (ii) ownership, governance and control of, and access to, payment systems, including requirements for more transparent decision-making, disclosure on access requirements and conflicts of interest; (iii) monitoring, enforcement and dispute resolution; and (iv) high-level standards for conduct for industry participants. The consultation closes on   January 12, 2015. The PSR expects to publish its final Policy Statement by the  end of March 2015.

The consultation paper is available at:

http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/psr/psr-cp14-1-cp-a-new-regulatory-framework-for-payment-systems-in-the-uk.pdf.