Financial Services Bill — Committee (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:30 pm on 15th March 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Noakes Baroness Noakes - Shadow Minister, Shadow Minister 9:30 pm, 15th March 2010

That is entirely correct and my noble friend Lord Higgins would have come to appreciate the importance of information powers for the Bank before we got to that stage.

It is perfectly clear that written right at the top of the Minister's brief is "resist", that word that appears on most ministerial briefs. One could tell that the Minister's heart was not quite in it. He told me that my amendment was superfluous because somehow a strategy was the same as a statement of policy. Since the City of London Law Society, which I respect greatly, has seen the Bill, which talked about a strategy, and still said that we needed a statement of policy, I rather took that as being important. There is no requirement here to issue or publish a strategy. There is no sign that it is the same thing. There is no consultation on the strategy beyond the Treasury, whereas my amendment would require wide consultation and in particular refers to other persons who,

"may be affected by the statement", of policy. The Minister is resisting something which is entirely sensible for the regulated community. There is an inability to see the kind of concerns that genuinely exist out there. If the FSA just had this objective without widening the powers to cover this, it might have been an easier matter. It is not an easy matter because the powers are to be broadened at the same time. For that reason, I would like to test the opinion of the House.