New Clause 17 - Reporting requirements

Part of Financial Services and Markets Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 7 December 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Conservative, Epsom and Ewell 3:45, 7 December 2022

My hon. Friend makes an important point. What makes it possible for big organisations to track their supply chains is the presence of Earth observation data, which many supermarkets now use to understand where they are sourcing from. Interestingly, it is a central part of this week’s proposal by the European Union. The data is available, but it is complicated. I recently had a meeting with a major institution that financially supports companies in Brazil, and it said it is incredibly difficult to track, all the way down the supply chain, where products are coming from. Well, it may be incredibly difficult, but it still has to be done.

New clause 24 would place a duty on financial institutions, as we did with retailers, to carry out proper due diligence on their investments, to understand and to be absolutely certain that the companies they deal with have due diligence processes in place themselves, so they know from where they are buying beef, soya or palm oil and so they work properly to ensure they deliver products from sustainable sources in a responsible way.

We hear warm words coming from the executive suites of our major financial institutions all the time about their commitment to sustainability, to net zero and to being responsible citizens. Sometimes they do it, sometimes they do not. There might be the will in head office, but sometimes a local branch does not deliver. New clause 24 would make it a clear duty on those institutions to do due diligence to make sure they know where products are coming from and so they know where investments are being made. This country has been a leader, and new clause 24 would be one further step in dealing with the blight of deforestation, which affects everyone’s future.