On 20 March 2020, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published a new web page providing an update on its work on the implementation of Confirmation of Payee (CoP). The PSR states that it has informed the directed banks that if they are unable to fully implement CoP by 31 March 2020:

  • banks must take appropriate steps to roll out CoP, taking into account the impacts of COVID-19, even if that means they do not meet the original 31 March 2020 deadline;
  • the PSR expects the directed banks to ensure customers who would have benefitted from the protections of CoP are not otherwise disadvantaged from any COVID-19 related delay, including refunding victims of fraud if CoP would have prevented it from happening; and
  • the PSR will keep these arrangements under review as the wider impacts of COVID-19 are better understood.

The PSR states that it has been very clear that where the directed banks provide appropriate protection to people, it will not take any formal action in respect of delays to the introduction of CoP ahead of 30 June 2020. The PSR expects the banks to do everything they can to protect people in the meantime and implement CoP as soon as possible.