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 4:15 pm on 13th January 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Shadow Economic Secretary (Treasury) 4:15 pm, 13th January 2021

The hon. Gentleman makes a very strong point, and it is why we believe these are strong amendments. We should do this because it is right in itself, and it is an important signal to send about financial services in this post-Brexit world. We do not want to send a signal that we are going for relative weakness in anti-fraud and anti-money laundering laws. Instead, the signal should be that we insist on the strongest possible measures.

New clause 21 seeks to establish a duty of care. This is a long-running debate, and we tabled a similar amendment in Committee. The new clause is intended to make companies ask not just whether their products are legal but whether they are right and are in the consumer’s interest.

New clauses 25 and 26 seek to address the plight of mortgage prisoners. These are people who are stuck on very high standard variable rates and have no ability to switch. All I would ask is, if the Minister cannot accept these amendments, will he continue to work on this issue to try to help these people who are trapped, through no fault of their own, on very uncompetitive rates? He mentioned 3% or 4%, which is much higher than is available in a mortgage environment where the base rate is 0.1%. That can mean paying thousands of pounds more per year, depending on the size of the mortgage, so this is a real material difference for people.

We have a global financial sector in this country that, if properly regulated and paying its way, is a huge asset to the people of this country. We want it to be innovative and successful, but we also want to ensure the public are properly protected against risks if things go wrong. That is the spirit in which we tabled these amendments, and it is the spirit in which we have approached the Bill throughout. I hope the Minister will consider that when it comes to the votes in a couple of hours’ time.