The PRA has welcomed government plans for a new regulator for the payments sector, which will have the the power to amend and regulate the fees set by card companies

The government has announced the creation of a utilities-style regulator charged with increasing competition in the payments services industry. The new regulator will report to the Financial Conduct Authority and aims to increase competition within the market as well as monitor and investigate those within it.

PRA chairman Brian Madderson commented: “The PRA has lobbied HM Treasury for the creation of a specific regulator for the payment services industry and for greater transparency of the costs associated with cards, therefore today’s announcement is extremely positive for our members.

“It is particularly encouraging that the Payment Systems Regulator will have the power to amend and regulate the fees set by card companies.

“Competition is fierce in fuel retailing and independent forecourts in the UK continue to close at an alarming rate. About 70% of all transactions are made with some form of card. Therefore, with 60% of the price of fuel being made up of tax and gross profits falling between 2-3%, greater competition in card charges can mean the difference between staying in business and going bust.

“This is a positive move that the PRA has lobbied tirelessly for and we hope that this will keep some of our members in business and halt the declining number of forecourts seen over recent years.”