FTX shines a light on crypto people – do we want them replacing our UK cash with their digital currency?

Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of Financial Stability, Bank of England, sees no contradiction between the rampant instability on Planet Cryptocurrency and the Bank’s plans to replace our cash with its own UK version of a cryptocurrency. This is the message today from the most senior person responsible for the stability of the UK currency.

Welcome […]

‘CAPTURE’ – a major new paper on the committees considering a UK Central Bank Digital Currency

UK payments have, over the last ten years, become increasingly digital and become the domain of a technocratic elite, working in tandem with Big Tech and the major payment card brands.

The UK’s ‘digital payments journey’ thus far has left an amount of damaging debris on the road behind it: Authorized Push Payment Fraud, inflationary Deductions-from-face-value […]

ISO20022 – The Great Leap Sideways

The payment industry’s migration to the ISO20022 XML data format promises much, or rather the list of promises is long and the same as it has been for a long time, and is very promising: richer data, easier data mining, easier compliance-checking and harmonization (aka everyone else is going to use it so we should […]

The Payment Systems Regulator’s PS22/2 Card-acquiring market remedies: final decision = surrender

On 6th October 2022 the PSR published its Final Decisions on its major and multi-year ‘work’ on the costs of accepting card payments for merchants. Costs, in this case, focuses on the service fees paid by a merchant to its appointed merchant acquirer. The all-in costs include the deductions-from-face-value, which the PSR has elected to […]

Apparatus for UK’s financial management is dead in the water

A major change in the financial management of the UK is needed. The current upsurge in inflation may have been triggered by energy prices, but the seedbed for it has been in the creation since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007/8. Policy formulation has receded into a […]

Payment technocrats have crippled EU’s ability to impose biting sanctions on Russia

Original IREF article of 16 March 2022 accessed on 21 March 2022

The EU recently announced partial financial sanctions on Russia, designed to keep payments for energy moving. The EU accepted the contention – disproved below – that a bank either gets cut off from SWIFT, the global financial telecommunications network, completely or not at all. […]

UK adopts European approach to SWIFT sanctions over Russia

Brexit-Watch article where this piece was originally published

The UK’s financial sanctions over the Ukraine invasion fall well short of cutting Russia off SWIFT, maxing out on the usual self-congratulatory hyperbole whilst opening up significant risk. When we should be distinguishing our PR approach from that of the Kremlin, we instead get big-sounding phrases masking deficiencies […]

Scholz needs a SWIFT decision – cut Russia off or lose American bank support for the Eurosystem

What is SWIFT? Screenshot of its homepage

As already published on Facts4EU and Brexit-Watch

It has been reported that Chancellor Scholz has rejected the proposal that Russia be cut off from the SWIFT system as a punishment for its invasion of Ukraine. The Guardian has disseminated misinformation that it would anyway do little damage. Scholz may imagine […]

Architect of Test and Trace turns to reorganising UK’s payment systems

This article as it appeared on CommentCentral on 4 August 2021

A certain David Pitt, fresh from his triumphs as Chief
Operating Officer of Test and Trace, has been appointed as Chief Executive
Officer of Pay.UK, the company responsible for the UK’s main payment systems.

This is not a joke, although the timing is unfortunate, coinciding
with the unfolding pingdemic […]

UK’s New Payments Architecture now to be a bungalow

Title page of PSR’s latest emission on the scope and tendering process for NPA

What started out as a Temple of Solomon to revolutionise the UK’s payment systems will now be reduced to a more manageable bungalow-sized development. Multiple layers collapse down to one.

The
UK’s Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), who started this show rolling in 2015 by
creating […]