BSP Issues Governance Standards for Operators of Payment System
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has issued the governance policy for Operators of Payment System (OPS) as part of the phased-in implementation of Republic Act No. 11127 or the National Payment Systems Act (NPSA).
The issuance further supports the adoption of the governance standards under the Principles for Financial Market Infrastructures, the internationally recognized standards jointly issued by the Bank for International Settlements and the International Organization for Securities Commissions. These international standards are applicable to financial market infrastructures which include payment systems.
The governance policy provides the regulatory expectations on the governance arrangements and standards to be adhered to by all OPS. It also provides the criteria for qualification and grounds for disqualifications of individuals elected or appointed as directors or officers of an OPS. In particular, the rules prohibit concurrent directorships among a clearing switch operator (CSO), its critical service provider and the payment system management body that governs the automated clearing house for which such CSO renders clearing services.
The guidelines also set governance standards that prescribe the quality of stewardship among OPS given that these entities have critical roles in ensuring the smooth circulation of funds in the economy in a safe, efficient, affordable and convenient manner.
While the policy seeks to address governance concerns that are particularly applicable to entities conducting business as OPS, the principles espoused under the policy issuance are broadly aligned with the governance standards applicable to BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) and the provisions of relevant domestic laws and regulations. Meanwhile, OPS that have concurrent authorities, such as a bank or an electronic money issuer, shall abide by the more rigid requirements prescribed by virtue of such concurrent authorities.
Consistent with the BSP’s proportional and risk-based approach to payment system oversight, more stringent requirements shall apply to operators of designated payment systems (ODPS) in view of the potential of designated payment systems to pose systemic risks to the financial system. Moreover, a failure in such designated payment systems could undermine public confidence in the national payment system.
Taking into consideration adjustments needed in the governance arrangements of OPS, the Circular provides a period of six months for OPS to comply with general provisions of the issuance, except for provisions on temporary disqualification of directors/officers of OPS which shall take effect immediately.
The issuance of the governance policy facilitates the creation of an enabling regulatory environment, through the proper implementation of the NPSA, consistent with the maintenance of the safe and efficient functioning of the national payment system in support of monetary and financial stability.
The NPSA provides a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework which supports the twin objectives of maintaining a payment system that is necessary to control systemic risks and providing an environment conducive to the sustainable growth of the economy.
The full circular can be accessed here.