Insights Phone-paid Services Authority announces the coming into force of Code 15

On 5 April 2022, the PSA formally launched the 15th Code of Practice. Code 15 represents a significant shift in regulation, the PSA says. Through Code 15, the PSA intends to raise standards in the market, prevent harm in the first place, enable simpler compliance and, where necessary, enforce smarter.

The PSA has also launched various changes to the website to help industry stay compliant:

  1. Integrated Guidance with the Code: Code 15 is intended to be easier to comply with; as part of this, there is a fully interactive version of the Code online, with relevant Guidance integrated within it; the full range of Code and Guidance documents is also available to download as pdfs;
  2. Updated Registration systems: networks, intermediaries and merchants are now required to provide contacts details of individuals responsible for certain aspects of compliance, e.g., intermediaries need to provide contact details of the person with primary responsibility for due diligence, risk assessment and control and there are now dedicated fields in the system for providers to do this; providers are required to update this information as soon as possible;
  3. change to the Adjudications section of the website: the section is now called Regulatory decisions and has been expanded to include further information about existing enforcement activities; tribunal outcomes will continue to be published here, as well as warning letters and action plans where it is considered necessary and proportionate, and where relevant providers have had the opportunity to make representations; a list of newly opened enforcement cases (which includes prohibitions cases for named individuals) will also be published here; by the end of the April, the PSA intends to backdate this list to include ongoing and existing Code 14 Track 2 cases as these will now follow Code 15 Procedures; and
  4. improved due diligence reports: due diligence reports have been broadened to enable more effective risk assessment; reports will now include: (i) allocated enforcement cases; (ii) adjudications and settlements; (iii) prohibitions; (iv) bars; (v) outcomes of engagement process, including warning letters and action plans, where appropriate; (vi) information about active phone-paid services; and (vii) information about responsible persons and their related organisations histories.

To read PSA’s press release in full and for links to further information, click here.