Regulation  

FCA calls for views on payments system regulator

A new regulator will launch to oversee the £75 trillion payment system industry by April 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority has announced.

The regulator has called on industry opinions on the main issues facing the payments sector, which are responsible for facilitating every electronic payment to or from UK consumers by allowing funds to be transferred between people and businesses.

A new payment systems regulator subsidiary to the FCA is called for in the current Banking Reform Bill.

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Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA, said: “This sector is critical to the economy so it must reflect the needs of people and firms and enjoy their confidence.

“We need to know if the sector is as open as it should be to new entrants into the market and are consumers getting the best possible deal?”

Payment systems process more than seven billion transactions annually, worth more than £75,000bn.

Responses to the FCA’s call for views will shape the work of the new regulator.

The largest payment systems are owned and operated by the big banks, but some parties have raised concerns over a lack of transparency and innovation. Therefore competition will be a high priority for the new regulator, the FCA said.

Responses to the FCA’s “call for inputs” should be sent to the regulator at paymentsystems@fca.org.uk by 15 April 2014.