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Part of Bank of England and Financial Services Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 15th December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip) 5:00 pm, 15th December 2015

My Lords, this amendment provides for the Treasury to issue remit letters to the FCA, a measure first announced in relation to both the PRA and FCA in the Government’s productivity plan in July. The Bill already makes provision for the Treasury to issue remit letters to the PRC and the amendment will enable Peers to consider provisions for the FCA and PRC remit letters together. As the House will know, the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill generally relates to the governance of the Bank, rather than the FCA. However, we have been considering the best legislative vehicle for the FCA remit letter provision and have decided that it would sit best alongside the PRC remit letter provision. As to the remit letter’s content, the productivity plan outlined that remit letters will provide information on the Government’s economic policy and will make recommendations about aspects of that policy to which the FCA should have regard. The recommendations in the letters will not be binding and will not compromise, modify, or override the FCA statutory objectives in any way; neither will they relate to individual firms or cases.

As to the timing and frequency of the publication of the letters, we are aiming to publish the first FCA remit letters following Royal Assent for the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill, after which they will be published at least once per Parliament. The letters will be used to provide a steer on the Government’s economic strategy over that period, but letters could be sent more frequently if particular issues arise.

Finally, the Treasury must publish its recommendations and lay a copy before Parliament. I beg to move.