On the 4 July 2019, the FCA released a ‘Dear CEO’ letter that addressed both the positive and negative practices of non-bank Payment Service Providers (“PSPs”) as they seek to comply with their obligations to safeguard customers’ funds. The FCA identified a number of failings in the safeguarding processes of the 11 PSPs it reviewed over a six-month period and has set out mandatory actions for PSPs.
Safeguarding is both a simple and important concept. Every payment and e-money institution that I have ever worked with wants to protect their customers’ funds and make sure that, if the worst came to the worst and they became insolvent, either their customers’ payment instruction would be fulfilled or they would have their funds returned to them.
The FCA’s proposed interpretation of the safeguarding obligation is causing serious concern in the industry. Under the new guidance, payment and e-money institutions will be expected to match the value of payments they make on behalf of their clients from their own funds because they will have to both keep the value in a safeguarding account and remit it to the payee.