Competition in payments systems - new study in
The OFT has announced that it will launch a new
investigation early in 2003 into the market for payment systems in
the UK. The study will focus on developments in the payments
systems market since the Cruickshank report in March 2000. It will
aim to promote understanding among UK businesses and consumers as
to how payment systems operate. It will also set the stage for the
OFT’s future powers to promote effective competition in
payment systems. The OFT will shortly announce the terms of
reference for the study.
Following the Cruickshank report in March 2000, the
Government accepted the premise that there was insufficient
competition in the provision of payment systems in the UK and
announced proposals for a new competition regime for the payment
systems industry (most recently in HM Treasury’s response to
consultation Competition in Payment Systems, August 2001).
It was noted at the time that the recent Queen's
speech did not include new legislation. According to the OFT, the
Government does still intend to legislate in the area as soon as
parliamentary time allows, but presumably will now await the
outcome of the investigation.