Bank Cards: Fees and Charges

Treasury written question – answered on 3rd July 2020.

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Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to monitor and regulate card payment fees charged by banks for transactions involving small retailers.

Photo of Richard Holden Richard Holden Conservative, North West Durham

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of forcing banks to freeze card payment fees temporarily, for transactions involving small retailers in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government remains committed to helping businesses and workers through the present very difficult time, and has announced unprecedented support, including a range of grant and tax deferral schemes, and £300 billion of guarantees, equivalent to 15 per cent of UK GDP. Some acquirers (the financial services firms which enable retailers to process card payments) are taking voluntary measures to support their business customers, for example through waiving fees, and the Government welcomes such action.

The Payment Systems Regulator is currently carrying out a market review into card-acquiring services. Its review is examining how competition is working, including looking at the fees retailers pay for card-acquiring services and the quality of service they receive. Its interim findings will be published in Q3 2020.

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