Financial Services Sector

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

What steps he is taking to improve the performance of the financial services sector.

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Chancellor of the Exchequer

UK financial services are globally competitive, and this Government are focused on maintaining that competitiveness. Leaving the EU with a deal will ensure that financial services businesses can continue to operate across borders into the EU. Through our global financial partnerships initiative, we will also build a new framework for rest-of-the-world cross-border financial services.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

How will we ensure that those businesses do not end up being regulated from overseas?

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Chancellor of the Exchequer

We have always been clear that the UK must maintain control of the regulations governing one of its most important sectors and, crucially, a sector that the UK taxpayer stands behind. Those regulations have to be made in the UK. The agreement we have negotiated with the EU in the political declaration means that each side would make its own choices on regulation through its own legislative processes, and if any of these lead to our respective regulatory regimes no longer being equivalent, either side would have the right to withdraw market access.

Photo of Mary Creagh Mary Creagh Chair, Environmental Audit Committee

The financial services sector is not above the law. If I can take the Chancellor back to the loan charge, what steps is he taking against accounting firms that told my constituents, who are working in the IT sector with a Government Department, that these schemes were perfectly legal? My constituents now find themselves laden with debt from HMRC and paying these things back. What is he doing about those corrupt accountants?

Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond The Chancellor of the Exchequer

The hon. Lady is absolutely right. As well as pursuing tax avoiders themselves, we have to pursue those who promote tax avoidance. My right hon. Friend the Financial Secretary has just told me that there are over 100 promoters of avoidance schemes who are currently under active investigation by HMRC.