The process for onboarding Guarantors is open, transparent and accountable. On request, unsuccessful applicants are advised of the rationale for the decision and have a route to appeal. The board, through its Nomination Committee, is responsible for managing the process which is administered by Pay.UK’s Corporate Governance team.
Step 2 – Applications are considered by the Nomination Committee which makes a recommendation to board. The Committee is made up of, among others, the Pay.UK Chair and Senior Independent Non-Executive Director.
Step 3 – At its next scheduled meeting, board will consider the Nomination Committee’s recommendations.
Step 4a – Successful applicants are advised in writing and sent an acceptance letter.
Step 4b – Unsuccessful applicants are advised in writing, including the rationale for the decision.
Step 5a – If the unsuccessful applicant accepts the decision, no further action is taken.
Step 5b – If an unsuccessful applicant appeals the decision in writing, the board would consider this appeal and make a final decision on the application.
Withdrawal of membership
By the Guarantor
Guarantors may withdraw from guarantorship of the company by giving three months’ notice to the company in writing. Guarantorship is only transferable in accordance with Pay.UK’s Articles (namely transfers intra-group to a legal entity who satisfies the eligibility criteria and to which the board has consented).
By the company
Pay.UK’s Articles specify certain circumstances in which a Guarantor’s membership can be terminated. The board may initiate a withdrawal of membership from a Guarantor if, for example, a Guarantor acts in a manner which is contrary to the interests of Pay.UK and its regulatory imperatives or if, in the reasonable opinion of Pay.UK, the Guarantor is not acting in a way that is conducive to the robustness and resilience of the payments ecosystem.
Once an application is received by the Stakeholder Engagement team, due diligence is undertaken by Pay.UK before the name of a potential Guarantor can be put forward to the Nomination Committee and then to the board for consideration. This is currently undertaken by the Corporate Governance team.
A series of fundamental checks are undertaken as part of the due diligence process. These include:
- Confirming the status of the legal entity at Companies House. Ensuring that all required statutory filings etc are up-to-date, verifying the company’s Directors, Shareholders and Persons with Significant Control
- Ensuring that the proposed Guarantor can demonstrate a legitimate interest in the payments ecosystem. This could be by checking the company’s website, referring to trade registers or undertaking other simple checks to gather appropriate evidence
- Undertaking a basic financial appraisal of the business, including a review of prior years’ financial statements to ensure that the proposed Guarantor is financially stable and has an understood business model
- If the proposed Guarantor has other accreditations (for example is registered with the FCA) checking the public registers of those organisations to ensure that the accreditation is up-to-date and that there are no issues of concern shown (e.g. for an FCA registered firm, have there been any warnings or fines issued?)
- If the proposed Guarantor is a trade association or association, then further checks will be undertaken to ensure that none of its members is also a Guarantor in its own right, as that would preclude them from membership
- Undertaking any further checks as required and as prompted by the findings of the above, particularly as regards to anything that might possibly damage the reputation and integrity of UK by association, such as any public censure or previously disreputable behaviour on the part of the potential Guarantor.