Payments Council publishes independent governance reviewTweet
19 April 2012
The Payments Council today (19 April 2012) publishes an independent review of its governance arrangements and performance over the past two years. The Independent Review of Governance and Performance of the Payments Council 2009-11 was carried out by Professor Martin Cave, an expert in regulation and competition and an independent director on the Payments Council Board until December 2011. Professor Cave’s review involved consultation with 33 organisations and individuals and is published alongside the Payments Council’s response.
Professor Cave makes seven specific recommendations, all of which have been agreed by the Payments Council Board. They include: measures to increase transparency of how decisions are made by the Payments Council Board; reviewing as a priority how the Board decides whether an issue is competitive or not, and therefore whether any action should be taken; and improving the communication between Board and the Council’s User Forums – its stakeholder groups.
This governance review comes ahead of the forthcoming consultation from HM Treasury on a regulatory review of the payments industry and the Payments Council in particular, which is now expected in summer 2012.
Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council, said:
“Martin was well placed to undertake this important review and we are extremely grateful for his constructive recommendations. We are a young organisation and if we are to be to be an effective force to champion payments that meet everybody’s needs, it’s vital that we listen, learn and change where required. We welcome the timing of the HMT review and see our response to Professor Cave’s review as an important step in the right direction.”
Professor Martin Cave, author of the governance review report, said:
“The Payments Council was intended to be an organisation which puts customers rather than banks at the heart of the payments decision-making process. Several years after its launch it made a lot of sense to take stock, talk to key stakeholders outside of the banking industry, and make some changes. I conclude in my review that the current regime has flaws, which can only be corrected by a much stronger injection of the public interest into decision-making through some form of regulation. I am pleased the Board is acting on my detailed recommendations, but further fundamental changes can only follow the Treasury's review later this year.”
The review was carried out at the request of the Office of Fair Trading, following their review of the Payments Council in 2009 after its first two years of operation. One of the conclusions of that review was that the Payments Council should conduct a self-assessment after a further two years.
Martin Cave’s report and the Payments Council response can be downloaded from the Payments Council website, http://www.paymentscouncil.org.uk/current_projects/governance_review/.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Payments Council
The Payments Council is the body with responsibility for ensuring that payment services work for all those that use them in the UK. This unique role ensures that we listen to a wide range of stakeholders to drive innovation in payments and implement change so that individuals and businesses have access to payments for their current and future needs. We are, by nature, a collaborative body so we work with the financial institutions in the payments industry as well as listening to the voices of our external stakeholders.The Payments Council has three core objectives: to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the UK; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the UK.
The Payments Council was set up in March 2007 and currently there are 31 members; the Board has 11 industry representatives, four independent Directors and an independent Chairman. The principal UK payment schemes – Bacs, CHAPS, Faster Payments and Cheque & Credit Clearing Companies, LINK ATM Scheme as well as the Belfast Bankers' Clearing Company Limited – have all entered into a contract with the Payments Council to set out their respective rights and duties. Under the contract, schemes are required to report regularly and the Payments Council Board is able to make decisions that are binding on scheme members in order to implement its strategy. Payments Council also has 23 associate members.
For more information visit www.paymentscouncil.org.uk