On 24 April 2024, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published a Call for Views on its proposed approach to supervision.

Background

The PSR established a Supervision and Compliance Monitoring division last year, with the aim of driving compliance with the PSR’s requirements. Ensuring compliance has become increasingly important for the PSR as it uses its powers to boost competition, increase choice and tackle payment fraud. As such, the division aims to improve outcomes for everybody that uses payment systems by deterring and challenging poor practise within firms. 

The PSR’s proposals

Key aspects of the PSR’s proposed approach to supervision include:

  • Through supervision and regular engagement, the PSR will have effective, ongoing relationships in place with the firms it regulates. It will be evidence-based in its supervision and will be guided by its remit and the regulatory framework that governs its work.
  • The primary focus will be on the PSR’s regulatory relationship with payment system operators (PSOs), such as Pay.UK, Visa and Mastercard. This may evolve over time to include other strategically important types of firms if necessary.
  • The Supervision team will be responsible within the PSR for the management of relationships with supervised firms, and will provide clear routes for communication and predefined engagement schedules for those firms. This will not replace any of the existing functions within the PSR but will complement them.  
  • The PSR is proposing to provide supervised firms with a set of principles setting out regulatory expectations of supervised PSOs, in line with its strategic priorities and statutory objectives. It expects these principles to be applied flexibly, taking into account different firms’ aims and needs.  
  • Supervision will be a valuable tool in evaluating the impact of policy initiatives and in the PSR’s horizon scanning work. 
  • The PSR will engage with other regulatory authorities to avoid duplication of activities and where possible, to improve efficiencies in how it regulates. 

The PSR’s Head of Supervision and Compliance Monitoring, Oliver Hanmer, said: “The PSR has a distinct role in regulating payment systems and the firms that operate them. Through our supervision work, we want to be explicit in setting out our expectations, and in holding regulated firms to account against them…Supervision done well comes from effective relationships between the regulator and the regulated, with a clear and open channel of communication between us. These relationships help us to improve our understanding of the payments sector and ensure that our regulation is targeted and proportionate”.  

Next steps

The PSR’s Call for Views closes on 7 June 2024. After considering the feedback it receives, the PSR plans to publish a final document setting out its approach later in 2024.