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PhonepayPlus' Business Plan and Budget: the key points

17 March 2016, Peter Barker, Director of Corporate Services and Operations

We have recently published our Business Plan and Budget for 2016/17. The plan sets out the activity we will undertake and the resources needed to deliver our work in the coming year.

The feedback we received during the consultation has been used in the production of the final plan.

Here are some key points from it:

Cost savings
We have reduced our budget by £500,000 in real terms, an 11% reduction from last year. Savings have already been made through our relocation to a cheaper office and we have identified further savings through planned IT and business systems work.

The levy and funding review
Our budget is funded by an industry levy, applied to outpayments (or sums) paid by network operators to service aggregators and service providers as a result of revenue generated by premium rate services. The levy required to fund our budget is currently adjusted by the level of regulatory fines and charges collected in the previous year, and for 2016/17 has been set at 0.63%. This will apply from 1 April 2016.

We will also be reviewing our current funding model in the coming year. The review comes in light of industry feedback and from our desire to emphasise the independence of PhonepayPlus’ operating costs from the adjudicatory decision-making behind the level of fines and charges applied through regulation.
Further information on the levy and estimated outpayments can be found in section 6 of the Business Plan.

Registering a premium rate service
Providers of premium rate services are required to register with PhonepayPlus. The fee for registration for 2016/17 will stay at £155 + VAT. Exemptions of the fee remain for registered charities and providers in their first year of registration. Further details about registration and exemptions here.

Ongoing work
Over 250,000 contacts are received annually by PhonepayPlus from consumers, either online through the Number Checker or by telephone. As a regulator we do not provide complaint resolution services, but we remain committed to continue to help consumers use PRS with confidence. Our Business Plan provides an overview of how we aim to do this through supporting individuals in making further regulatory enquiries.

In the coming year we aim to continue our work with the industry for a healthy and innovative market while protecting consumers. Read our Business Plan and Budget for further information on how this is being delivered.

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