Motion to Take Note

Part of Financial Supervisory Framework: EUC Report – in the House of Lords at 6:19 pm on 12th January 2012.

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Photo of Lord de Mauley Lord de Mauley Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 6:19 pm, 12th January 2012

My Lords, to answer that in detail would be way above my pay grade. I will see what I can find for the noble Lord by way of an answer, but I cannot promise anything.

The noble Baroness, Lady Valentine, spoke about the importance of UK competitiveness of financial services to the UK economy. I agree with her. Financial stability supported by an effective regulatory framework provides a strong platform for the growth of the financial services sector. She asked how we will ensure the UK's influence in the ESAs. I have covered a lot of this in earlier answers, but I shall just say once again that the Government are fully committed to ensuring that the United Kingdom authorities continue to take a leadership role in European reforms, working both with one another and the wider community to deliver sound reform which complements the changes proposed to the UK framework. She asked a specific question about staff remuneration to attract and retain the best people. I agree that the ESAs need the best and most qualified staff.

The noble Lord, Lord Liddle, questioned our commitment to Europe. We remain a full member of the European Union, and this membership is-I am agreeing with him-vital to our national interests. It makes us the gateway to the largest single market in the world, which secures half of our exports and underpins millions of British jobs. I assure him that Ministers from all departments continue to engage actively in defence of UK interests in meetings in Brussels and bilaterally with their member-state counterparts. We will continue actively to engage on all financial services legislation and secure our national interests.

I am conscious of the time. If I have not answered any questions from noble Lords, I will, if I may, write to them. Today's debate takes place a year after the new EU supervisory framework came into force. The European Stability Risk Board and the ESAs are now established. They have agreed their working procedures and recruited staff to support their tasks. The ESAs in particular face a challenging time in delivering a large number of technical standards in banking, securities and insurance. In doing so, we believe they will build their reputation if they concentrate on quality rather than quantity. The Government are committed to supporting the ESRB and the ESAs as they move forward. We will seek to resist overburdening them with new tasks and prioritise work and limited resources towards their core tasks-namely, improving the quality and consistency of supervision, delivering high-quality rule-making, ensuring effective enforcement and identifying risks to the financial system. The Government will continue our close engagement with our European partners to achieve these objectives.