New rules for payment and e-money institutions
Over the past couple of months, the FCA has been consulting on whether to apply the Principles for Businesses, and some other Handbook rules, to payment and e-money institutions and registered account information service providers. This marks another step in the FCA’s journey towards greater supervision of the non-bank payment services sector.
With the vast majority of e-money and payment institutions successfully re-authorised, let’s take a look at how the FCA intends to monitor this growing population of firms.
In a previous blog post, I took a look at the upcoming access changes to the UK’s RTGS system (the Clearing House Automated Payment System) and, in the blog post before that, the UK’s new payment architecture. In the latter, you might remember, we touched on the consolidation of three separate payment service operators (PSOs) – Bacs, Faster Payments Service and the Cheque & Credit Clearing Company – under a New Payments Service Operator (NPSO).
It’s been five months since the FCA’s doors opened to applications from the new payment service providers, often referred to as third party providers (TPPs), and two months since they could appear on the Register so it’s a good time to ask how many have seized the opportunity presented by the second payment services directive (PSD2).
The answer is: ‘not so many’.
To some, 13 January and the implementation of the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will be a significant milestone in their business’s path. They will be joining the community of the regulated financial services sector, which means that their owners and managers take on significant additional liability and are subject to a new level of scrutiny. They will have to meet certain standards and requirements ranging from the information they must give their customers to the type of insurance they must hold (in the case of the payment initiation and account information service providers) to how they treat client money (for authorised payment and e-money institutions and small e-money institutions).
The second Markets in Financial Infrastructure Directive (MiFID II), and its accompanying regulation the Markets in Financial Infrastructure Regulation (MiFIR), are set to take effect tomorrow (3 January 2018) – some four and a half years after first being approved by the Council of the European Union (and after a year-long delay intended to allow for the development of the complex technical infrastructure required by firms for compliance with the incoming changes).