New Clause 17 - Reporting requirements

Part of Financial Services and Markets Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:16 pm on 7 December 2022.

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Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 2:16, 7 December 2022

The financial services sector is central to our Government’s ambition to bolster our global competitiveness and boost growth in all parts of the United Kingdom. This Bill delivers on our ambition by seizing the opportunities of our departure from the European Union, tailoring financial services regulation to UK markets and delivering better outcomes for the economy, consumers, victims of fraud and businesses. There are many amendments for consideration today, so I will be as succinct as possible, and I look forward to having time to respond to hon. Members’ contributions later.

In Committee, I heard from colleagues on both sides of the House about the importance of holding the operationally independent regulators to account regarding their performance—in particular, that there should be regular reporting on their performance to support scrutiny, beyond just the annual report. Regulation is about not just the contents of the rulebook, but how effectively and on how timely a basis those rules are enforced and implemented.

The Government and regulators are both committed to the highest standards of operational effectiveness. That is why last week we published an exchange of letters with the regulators, making clear the intention to publish more detailed performance data in relation to their authorisation processes on a more regular basis. However, I also noted the clear consensus in Committee on the need to enhance the existing statutory provisions. In particular, I thank my hon. Friends the Members for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond) and for North Warwickshire (Craig Tracey) for raising this important issue.

As a result, new clause 17 provides a new power for the Treasury to require the regulators to publish additional information on a more regular basis, where that is necessary to support this House’s scrutiny of their performance in discharging their general functions.