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FSA warns banks on old tech and slow payments

The Managing Director of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Martin Wheatley, has said - in a speech to the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland - that UK banks should update their technology and speed up payments.

"Banks need to recognise their customers' increased expectations in a world where people can now, via faster payments, make payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week", Wheatley said. "Old systems, and the reluctance of some banks to change ways of doing things, are becoming unacceptable." Wheatley warned that "if banks do not provide what consumers want, new entrants might".

Wheatley also said that British banks should treat their customers better, referring to a letter the FSA sent to banks last January "to encourage a more proactive approach". As an example, he pointed out the requirement to ensure payments reach the payee's account by the end of the following business day, which some banks fail to tackle to ensure compliance. "I cannot understand why something as straightforward and helpful as this, is so hard to do", Wheatley said.

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