Last month, the UK government published a consultation paper on “Opening up UK payments”. According to the paper, “the self-regulation of financial services…has been discredited.” Say what? The world over, payments systems have been almost entirely self-regulated, so this is a big call. The evidence cited in the paper for this includes the LIBOR-rate fixing scandal and the failed attempt to eliminate UK cheque clearing. And of course, there is enduring rancor over the public bailout of UK banks during the global financial crisis.