Financial market infrastructures – what happens when you pay?


    Financial market infrastructures – what happens when you pay?

    When you pay by card for your shopping, or take cash out of the ATM, it may seem like the money is magically transferred from your bank account to the shop, or into your hand. But there’s a whole network of processes and systems that make this possible. These are known as Financial Market Infrastructures – or FMIs for short.

    Like banks, we regulate FMIs to keep the financial system stable. You might have heard of some FMI companies, like Visa and Bacs. But what exactly are FMIs and why are they important?

    Why does the Bank have a role in regulating FMIs?

    Because of their importance to the smooth functioning of the financial system, the Bank of England regulates certain FMIs to help make sure they are operating safely. We look at whether those in charge of the FMIs have the right skills, and we check to make sure that their operations are sound.

    Why do we do this? In a nutshell, if FMIs stopped working then you wouldn’t be able to make bank payments through mobile or online methods, you wouldn’t be able to make card payments or get cash out of cash machines.

    Find out more:

    The Bank of England website explains more about which FMIs we regulate and why.

    To find out more about how the Bank has regulated FMIs this year, take a look at our annual report on the supervision of FMIs.

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