Government publishes strategy for reforming payments services
The Government has today published a consultation on the future regulation and governance of the payments industry, Mark Hoban, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has announced. The payments industry, which sets strategy on important payment mechanisms including the future of cheques, is central to the functioning of the economy, yet the Government does not feel it has always responded effectively to the needs of consumers.
The consultation – which forms part of a package of measures announced today that will increase competition and consumer protection in the banking sector – proposes reforms that will protect those who rely on more traditional payment mechanisms by ensuring that consumer concerns are taken into account.
The Government’s preferred option is the creation of a new body – the Payments Strategy Board – to monitor and make recommendations to the payments industry. It would be run by a mixture of senior industry and non-industry representatives, including from consumer organisations. This board would ensure that competition concerns and consumer views would be fully considered as part of the decision making process.
Mr Hoban said:
“We need a payments system that responds to the needs of customers and is not just run for the banks. Today’s package of measures is another step by the Government to make sure that the financial sector provides an effective and competitive service to the real economy.”
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