Mission Statement: To enable equal and fair access to settlement of payment transactions through an open payments infrastructure and ensure the continued availability of bank accounts for both trading purposes and client funds.
Project Rome sets out to enable non-banks to have direct access to faster payments and settlement so the industry can support the growth of SMEs and consumers. Project Rome also recognises the growing threat to FinTech and PayTech companies because of derisking by banks. This often results in the removal of bank account services and the closure of these businesses altogether, irrespective of the history of the account or its licensed status.
Phase 1: Payments systems’ sponsorship
On the June 17th 2016 the Bank of England announced that it intends to extend direct access to Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) accounts beyond the current set of 32 banks, thereby allowing a range of non bank PSPs to compete on a level playing field. We are confident that this will ensure a competitive market enabling more competitive pricing, better support, services and innovations for the consumer with a fairer financial landscape for all. Project Rome will continue to watch developments regarding RTGS access and the supervisory regime that will be delivered by the FCA and HMRC that will ensure effective oversight of PSPs with settlement accounts. One of the ways in which the Project Rome benefactor The Just Loans Group has started to address the ‘access challenge’ was to invest heavily in enhanced AML and KYC procedures. This type of action by alternative payment providers in security measures for prospective
start-ups seeking access will build trust and allay underlying concerns.
Phase 2: Bank accounts for PayTech companies
Project Rome actively engages with the media, commentators,
regulators and oversight organisations (e.g. FCA and BBA) regarding
the number of closures, number of rejections and reasons for closure
or rejection, possibly derived from its research into de-risking of bank