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Securitisation Regulations 2018

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 4:07 pm on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Anneliese Dodds Anneliese Dodds Shadow Minister (Treasury) 4:07 pm, 13th February 2019

The overall regulatory structure for the financial services industry is surely not what we are talking about in this debate. We are talking specifically about the regulation of securitisation. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman appears to be suggesting that he was trying to make a point about the lack of stringent regulation at the time of the financial crisis. I remind all Members that it was, of course, the Conservatives who urged the then Government to deregulate further and to remove regulation.

My hon. Friend Bambos Charalambous set out the involvement of securitisation in the financial crisis very clearly. To respond briefly to Mr Jayawardena, building on what my hon. Friend said, there has been a wide-ranging debate about whether it is appropriate to encourage additional securitisation, of which he may be aware. Of course, securitisation facilitates additional leverage, beyond what would already be there, because it makes liquid assets that are not already liquid. That may be appropriate in some contexts, but it can lead to inappropriate leveraging, particularly when it is conducted in a complex and opaque way, as arguably was the case during the financial crisis. It is surely appropriate, therefore, that we question any new regulations that apply to securitisation in this House, as we have done in this debate.

I am grateful to the Minister for his opening remarks. However, I regret that he failed to respond to my detailed comments about the manner in which the EU regulation has been transposed. Our complaint is not necessarily with the overall framework, which, as he rightly intimated, came from the Basel framework through IOSCO and, latterly, the EU. The point is that the process has not been entirely without controversy. As a result, the decisions that the Government make about how to implement the framework are potentially delicate, as was underlined rightly by Kirsty Blackman.

The Minister said that the statutory instrument is a simple empowerment of the FCA. However, I referred in my remarks to how the regulations disapply elements of existing legislation, including those relating to offences under the purview of the Competition and Markets Authority and to insider dealing. He did not make it clear why that was necessary. He said that the measures would make our statute book consistent with offences in other countries in respect of complex securitisation and so on. He did not indicate whether they were consistent with existing offences on the UK statute book. That, surely, is what is at issue.

For all those reasons, we will press the motion of revocation to a vote.

Question put.

The House divided:

Ayes 263, Noes 306.