New Clause 27 - Money laundering offences: electronic money institutions, payment institutions and deposit-taking bodies

Part of Financial Services Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 13th January 2021.

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Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 3:31 pm, 13th January 2021

Our financial services sector is critical to our national effort to recover from the impacts of covid-19 and move towards a resilient, open and sustainable future for the UK economy. The Bill is the next step in a process to take back control of our financial services legislation, having left the European Union and come to the end of the transition period.

There are a large number of amendments to address, so I will speak at some length, but hopefully as succinctly as possible. Let me start with the 20 new clauses and amendments tabled in my name, which do four things. I will first address new clauses 27 and 28, new schedule 1 and amendments 16 to 20. I hope that Mr McFadden will be pleased to see this set of new clauses and amendments, which have been tabled in response to an issue that he raised in Committee.

The Government remain committed to supporting the FinTech sector. The UK is widely considered to be a leading market—probably the leading market—for starting and growing a FinTech firm, and I am proud of that reputation. It has recently become clear that provisions in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 are creating challenges for some types of smaller firms known as e-money institutions and payment institutions. These institutions, which include industry leaders such as Revolut, Worldpay and TransferWise, have experienced significant growth over recent years. Currently, they need to submit a defence against money laundering request—which I shall refer to as a DAML from now on—to the National Crime Agency, to seek consent before proceeding with any transaction involving criminal property, however small.