Implementation of the Payment Services Directive - ACT Response
In explaining your overall approach you state the principle of proportionality which you intend to promote, so long as it is not to the detriment of the consumer. For example you will seek to avoid information overload for end-users while ensuring they have sufficient information to exercise an informed choice.
We fully support this stance. Later you explain your overarching approach to supervision where you intend to allow regulatory burdens to be minimised or simplified without reducing the benefits for customers so that, for example you will seek to avoid going beyond the minimum provisions necessary to comply with the Directive unless exceptional circumstances arise. This exactly accords with the ACT’s approach to regulation.
However we notice that in outlining your approach to implementation of Titles III and IV you say that “the overarching aim will be to keep in mind workability from the perspective of payment service providers.” We do not support excessive regulation and information for the sake of it and clearly any proposals must be capable of working, but we would urge you to approach implementation from the perspective of giving priority to delivering an efficient and reliable payments environment that meets the reasonable needs of the customers. The “perspective” of the payment service providers is exactly the wrong point of view from which to start except in so far as service providers need common standards and access to systems so that they can compete among themselves in identifying customer needs, whether such customers are public sector, private sector, private sector or retail. In particular new entrants to payments services need the facilities mentioned in order to compete with the incumbents.
In responding to this consultation we have deliberately not answered every question you have asked. ACT members work in a variety of companies but there is a tendency for these companies to be at the larger end of the spectrum of size. We therefore are not in a position to represent views of the consumer or smaller enterprises and will not have a particularly strong interest in areas like money transfer services. Furthermore we consider the proposals from the viewpoint of non-financial services companies, so that we do not comment on many of the questions on Title II – the Prudential Regime.