Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : OFT To Regulate Competition in Payment Services [September 2001]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 3 August 2001.

Banking payment services will become more competitive under proposals announced by the Treasury today. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will become the regulator of the systems by which debit card, credit card, cheque and other payments are made.

The Government believes that more competition between banks and others involved in making and receiving payments will lead to lower charges for consumers.  As well as ensuring clearer pricing, the OFT will be seeking better access to payment systems for banks and other financial services providers.  The Government also hopes the new regime will lead payment service providers to better manage and develop their systems.

Announcing the publication of Competition in Payment Systems: A Response to Consultation, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Smith said:

“In publishing our revised proposals for taking forward the Cruickshank report’s recommendations on payment systems, I can confirm that we intend to introduce a new competition regime for the payment systems industry.

“Systems for delivering payment services such as credit cards, cheques and direct debits affect every user of the banking system, whether personal customers or businesses.  This Government is determined to put in place means to encourage competition in these services in the interests of all users.”