Schedule 7 - Accountability of the Payment Systems Regulator

Financial Services and Markets Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 7 December 2022.

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Amendment made: 18, page 149, line 30, at end insert—

“11A In Schedule 4, after paragraph 7 insert—

“Other reports

7A (1) The Treasury may (subject to this paragraph) at any time by direction require the Regulator to publish a report containing information about such matters as are specified in the direction.

(2) The Treasury may give a direction under this paragraph requiring information to be published only if the Treasury consider that—

(a) the information is reasonably necessary for the purpose of reviewing and scrutinising the discharge of the Regulator’s functions, and

(b) other available information is not sufficient to meet that purpose.

(3) Subject to sub-paragraph (4), the Regulator must publish a report prepared under a direction given under this paragraph in such manner, and within such period, as the direction may require.

(4) Nothing in this paragraph requires the inclusion in the report of any information whose publication would be against the public interest.

(5) A direction under this paragraph may not—

(a) require a report to be published more than once in each quarter;

(b) require the publication of information that is confidential information as defined by section 91(2).

(6) The Treasury must consult the Regulator before giving a direction under this paragraph.

(7) In exercising the power under this paragraph, the Treasury must have regard to the desirability of minimising any adverse effect that the preparation of the report required in accordance with the direction may have on the exercise by the Regulator of any of its other functions.

(8) The Treasury must—

(a) lay before Parliament a copy of a direction given under this paragraph, and

(b) publish the direction in such manner as the Treasury think fit.

(9) A direction under this paragraph may be varied or revoked by the giving of a further direction.””—(Andrew Griffith.)

This amendment confers a power on the Treasury to require the Payment Systems Regulator to publish information at any time on any requested matters, in addition to the current requirement to provide an annual report to the FCA.

Third Reading

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 6:43, 7 December 2022

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

It has been a privilege to lead on this Bill’s progression through the House, and I extend my thanks to hon. Members on both sides for their collaborative engagement, challenge and scrutiny. I extend particular thanks to the Chairs of the Public Bill Committee, my right hon. Friend Dame Maria Miller and Mr Sharma. On the Opposition Benches, I extend my particular thanks to the hon. Members for Hampstead and Kilburn (Tulip Siddiq), for Wallasey (Dame Angela Eagle), for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle (Emma Hardy), for Glenrothes (Peter Grant) and for West Dunbartonshire (Martin Docherty-Hughes) for the constructive way in which they have approached the scrutiny of this Bill and for their support where they felt it was appropriate.

On the Government side, I am particularly grateful for the contributions from my hon. Friend Harriett Baldwin, who was plucked from the Bill Committee to her position as Chair of the Treasury Committee, and my hon. Friends the Members for Wimbledon (Stephen Hammond), for North Warwickshire (Craig Tracey) and for Hastings and Rye (Sally-Ann Hart). I also pay tribute to my predecessors, my right hon. Friend John Glen and my hon. Friend Richard Fuller, for their efforts to prepare and introduce this Bill.

The Bill is a culmination of more than 30 consultations published by the Government over many years and follows extensive engagement. I thank all the stakeholders with whom we have consulted. Before the Bill moves to the other place, I wish to extend my thanks to the significant number of Treasury officials and lawyers for their work in preparing such a substantial Bill, my parliamentary counsel, the witnesses who gave evidence to the Public Bill Committee, the parliamentary Clerks, in particular Bradley Albrow, without whose efforts we would not have got to this point, and those who have helped Members of the Opposition support their work on this Bill.

Finally, as is customary, I wish to thank the Bill team from the Treasury: Matt Molloy, Ciara Lydon, George Guven, Nicola O’Keefe, Charlotte Bennett, Mathilde Durand-Delacre, Maithili Jayanthi, Rohan Lee, Catherine McCloskey and my assistant private secretary, Harry Coloe, who have supported me throughout this process.

We have already discussed at length the significance of this Bill. It is important to remember that our scrutiny does not end with the Bill moving on to the Lords. When the Bill receives Royal Assent, it will kickstart a wide-ranging and ambitious programme of secondary legislation and regulator rules to replace retained EU law, get back our freedoms and move to a comprehensive, domestic model of regulation. I look forward to seeing this important piece of legislation come into force. I commend the Bill to the House.

Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Shadow Minister (Treasury) 6:46, 7 December 2022

Despite some of the disappointments in the Bill, which I have outlined to the Minister in great detail, the Opposition support this important piece of legislation, as he will know. It will enable the UK to tailor financial services regulation from insurance to fintech to meet the needs of our economy. At the risk of sounding like an Oscar-winning speech, there are a few people whom I need to thank as well. People will know that, in Opposition, we do not have a whole team of civil servants working behind us. I must thank Mark Hudson in my team, who has worked really hard to make sure that I understand each and every aspect of the Bill. I wish to thank TheCityUK and UK Finance for their help and the Finance Innovation Lab for its advice on the Bill.

I thank, too, Lloyds, Santander, Barclays, HSBC, NatWest and Starling for setting out the dangers posed by the new forms of fraud, and the Building Societies Association and Nationwide for their help with my mutuals and co-operatives amendments. I also thank the Association of British Insurers, Phoenix, the Investment Association, Hargreaves Lansdown and TISA for their help on green finance and personalised financial guidance.

I also want to say thank you to all the Conservative MPs who served on our Committee, which, I think the Minister will agree, was a very good Committee, as we got through quite a lot of detail. I thank my hon. Friends the Members for Blaydon (Liz Twist), for Wallasey (Dame Angela Eagle), for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle (Emma Hardy) and for Mitcham and Morden (Siobhain McDonagh) for their support on the Public Bill Committee and for their co-operation as well.

Finally, in my 10 months as shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, I have shadowed three Economic Secretaries, all of whom were very helpful when it came to this Bill. Let me just mention them. They are: John Glen, who is not in his place right now, but who was very helpful when I first took on the role; Richard Fuller, who is also not in his place; and, of course, the current Minister whom I thank. This is a complex and wide-ranging Bill. The Minister and I spent an enormous amount of time together, but I think he will know that Labour supports both this Bill, and the opportunities for the City to thrive after we leave EU regulations. I hope the Minister knows that, overall, I have enjoyed working with him.

Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Chief Secretary) 6:48, 7 December 2022

I endorse and share the thanks of both the previous speakers to all those who have helped the democratic process to happen. Obviously, we are not particularly happy about the results of some of the votes, but that is what happens in life. If we go back to the day before this Bill got its First Reading, we will see that the six Treasury ministerial posts have been held by 21 different people. Who knows, we might have the same Minister on the Front Bench by the time the Bill comes back from the Lords, but I would not bet on it.

Among the people I want to thank personally are my very good and hon. Friend Martin Docherty-Hughes, who did such a power of work on his own in the Bill Committee, and someone who will not be a well-known name to most people here, although those of us who know her will understand she has been an absolute star, and that is Sarah Callaghan of the SNP research team. She joined a very good research team not long ago and she has been a fantastic support to me and my colleagues in preparation for this Bill, so I say thanks to Sarah.

I thank the Minister for the courtesy he has shown throughout political debates in which we have not always agreed, but in which I hope we have always been able to be courteous to each other. We will not oppose the Bill; we have reservations about it, but on balance it is just about good enough to get through.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means, Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons), Chair, Standing Orders Committee (Commons)

I pause, lest there be further excitement—but no.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time and passed.