Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

FCA lays out new rules on reporting of 'major incidents' affecting payment services

Out-Law News | 12 Dec 2017 | 5:11 pm | 1 min. read

Financial firms will be required to publish data on the major operational or security incidents that prevent customers from using their payment services under new rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The firms will be obliged to publish the information quarterly and on a rolling aggregated annual basis, and provide a breakdown of the incidents in terms of their impact on telephone, mobile and internet banking services.

"We consider that requiring a common tabular format for firms to publish all the service information and metrics on their websites will help customers and intermediaries to compare the numbers of major incidents between firms easily alongside other aspects of their current account service," the FCA said.

Current account providers will be required to start publishing the data from 15 August 2018. The incidents to be recorded are those that the firms will be obliged to report to the FCA under the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

"The PSD2 major incident framework has a matrix of quantitative and qualitative impact thresholds which are detailed and have been agreed by regulators across Europe," the FCA said. "They include elements which take some account of the size of the firm, the length of the incident, and its significance in relation to the firm’s payment services and number of customers."

"We expect firms to report any crystallised event that qualifies as a major incident under these PSD2 criteria," it said,

The regulator outlined the changes in a new policy statement (82-page / 1.24MB PDF) in which it also confirmed that other data, such as how long it takes customers to open new current accounts or have debit cards replaced, will have to be published by firms.

The changes are designed to improve the information that is made available about current account services and "promote effective competition", the FCA said.

Customers and intermediaries, such as price comparison websites, will be able to "make meaningful comparisons" between providers of both personal and business current accounts "based on quality of service", while the providers will be incentivised to "improve service and performance", it said.