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Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013

Sections 103 to 107: Consultation and accountability

256.Sections 103 to 107 impose consultation obligations on the Payment Systems Regulator, as well as providing for its accountability and oversight of its activities. Under section 103 the Payment Systems Regulator is required to make and maintain effective arrangements for consulting relevant persons (that is, participants in regulated payment systems and those who use or are likely to use services provided by those systems) about the extent to which the Payment Systems Regulator’s general policies and practices are consistent with its general duties and how its payment systems objectives may be best achieved. Under section 104, where the Payment Systems Regulator is considering imposing a generally applicable requirement (that is, a general direction under section 54 or a generally-imposed requirement under section 55) the Payment Systems Regulator is under a duty to consult the Bank of England, the FCA and the PRA. After doing so, the Payments Systems Regulator has to publish a draft of the proposed requirement, publish a cost-benefit analysis together with an explanation of the purpose of the proposed requirement, and have regard to any representations made. Subsection (6) provides for the steps the Payment Systems Regulator has to take if the direction or requirement it intends to impose differs significantly from the draft it published.

257.Section 105 amends the Financial Services Act 2012 to establish a further set of circumstances in which the Treasury may arrange independent inquiries: to inquire into a failure in the system of regulation of payment systems by the Payment Systems Regulator. Section 106 further amends that Act to impose a duty on the Payment Systems Regulator to investigate possible regulatory failures and report to the Treasury accordingly. It is also provided that the Payment Systems Regulator is required to carry out such an investigation where it appears to the Treasury that the conditions for initiating an investigation are satisfied.

258.Section 107 ensures that the CMA could advise the Payment Systems Regulator if the CMA is of the opinion that the Payment Systems Regulator’s regulatory activities (or regulatory omissions) may cause or contribute to the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in connection with the supply or acquisition of goods or services in the UK or in part of the UK.

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