Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Bank of England and Financial Services Bill [Lords]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:21 pm on 1st February 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of George Kerevan George Kerevan Scottish National Party, East Lothian 5:21 pm, 1st February 2016

I will try to do so, Madam Deputy Speaker.

It is always a great pleasure to follow Mr Tyrie, who chairs the Treasury Committee. Ninety-nine times out of 100, I would bow to his wise words. Indeed, his repository of knowledge often leads me to think that he should be one of the regulators, rather than sitting on the Back Benches in Parliament. However, in this instance, it pains me that I cannot follow him or Mark Garnier.

I will try to get the right hon. Member for Chichester to understand why those of us on the Opposition Benches cannot accept the Bill as it stands. Fundamentally, it is about the shift away from the reverse burden of proof. Given the backlog of distrust on the banking system and given that the reverse burden of proof was put into legislation and is just about to come into operation in March, to shift away from it now will only make the public less likely to accept what is going on and to make them fear that the banks are being let off the hook yet again. I would say to him and the Minister that it would have been much better to let the legislation run for a few years to see how it worked in practice.

The right hon. Member for Chichester gave us a very good reason for saying that, after so much legislation, it was perhaps time to pause while we made sure that it works in practice. However, his argument can be turned against him, because we are changing legislation at the last moment, after we passed it two years ago, but not implemented it. We should do that: we should see how the reverse burden of proof works. That is why I support Richard Burgon in opposing the Bill as it stands.