PSR slaps £33 million fine on five companies for cartel behaviour

The UK Payment Systems Regulator has announced that it has concluded an investigation into two cartels in the prepaid card market. Under this, it has found five parties in breach of competition law and has imposed fines.

The company which has been fined the most is Mastercard, with a fine of £31 million. The other companies fined are Allpay, Advanced Payment Solutions (APS), Prepaid Financial Services (PFS) and Sulion.

These parties were fined due to the fact they “infringed competition law by agreeing not to compete or poach each other’s customers in the prepaid cards market in Great Britain”.

“This investigation and the significant fines we have imposed send a clear message that the PSR has zero tolerance for cartel behavior”, said Chris Hemsley, Managing Director of the Payment Systems Regulator.

Adding further Chris Hemsley said, “This case is particularly serious because the illegal cartel behavior meant there was less competition and choice for local authorities. This means they may have missed out on cheaper or better-quality products which were used by some of the most vulnerable in society.”

The investigation was opened in October 2017 which was following a complaint made by Allpay about one of the infringements. PSR made provisional findings in the case in March 2021 and all parties in said settled and admitted breaking the law.

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