U.K. Government Seeks Input on Proposed Payments Regulator

March 28, 2013

The U.K. Treasury this week opened up its consultative process regarding regulation of the payments industry for public comment. The Treasury, which began looking at new ways to regulate the payments industry last summer when the UK Payments Council ran into criticism for the way it handled a proposal to eliminate checks in the country, evaluated several approaches and concluded it needs to create a new economic regulator with responsibility for the U.K.’s payment systems.

According to the Treasury, the plan is to abolish the industry-led Payments Council and establish a new competition-focused regulator similar to the agencies that oversee the country’s utility companies. The government proposes that the new regulatory responsibility could be assigned to a stand-alone regulator, the new Financial Conduct Authority or one of the other existing economic regulators.

Interested parties including banks, building societies, payments service providers, the owners and operators of payment systems, businesses, trade bodies, consumer groups and others are invited to answer specific questions raised in the consultation document between now and June 25, 2013.