Articles published on this website prior to October 2012 have been archived, and some information and links may be out of date. This follows the acquisition of Albany Software by Bottomline Technologies in September 2012.

UK Government plans to replace Payments Council with new Payments Strategy Board

Published on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Under consultation, the UK Payments Council is set to be replaced with a new board of industry and non-industry representatives, including those from consumer organisations, as the government attempts to reform the payments industry with the creation of a Payments Strategy Board (PSB).

The government hopes to improve consumer representation, suggesting that it feels the Payments Council has been too focused towards the needs of the banks.

A PSB is the preferred of three possible solutions, as a middle ground between restructuring the Payments Council and making sweeping changes to regulatory bodies in the payments industry. Government commitment to these changes was confirmed as it stressed there was no "do nothing option".

The Payments Council came under pressure from the Treasury Select Committee and government in 2009 when it announced that members had voted to phase out cheques. Subsequent criticism from charities, as well as other interest groups, prompted the government to intervene. No viable alternative to cheques was suggested although electronic payments software, such as that provided by Albany Software, could form part of a long term answer.

In response to HM Treasury's announcement Adrian Kamellard, Payments Council Chief Executive, welcomed the changes and reassured members of the Council that it would not spell the end of the Council. "Whatever the consultation outcome, the Payments Council is already uniquely placed to listen and respond to the needs of customers and businesses who rely on payments in their everyday lives."

The consultation, 'Setting the strategy for UK payments', is available on the Treasury website.