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Part of Bank of England and Financial Services Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 15th December 2015.

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Photo of Lord Teverson Lord Teverson Liberal Democrat 5:30 pm, 15th December 2015

My Lords, it is a great pleasure to speak to this amendment. Indeed, I had meant to put my name to it, and I apologise to the noble Baroness, Lady Worthington, for not having managed that. It is also a pleasure for me to speak today on the Bank of England Bill, as I managed to visit the Bank for the first time today; the noble Baroness, Lady Wheatcroft, was one of the other people there. For the first time, I actually held a gold bar, which I think was going down in value—nothing to do with me but more to do with world markets. It was worth a mere £250,000, I believe.

The amendment is important. Let us be clear: the world has changed, even over the last week. Climate change and the inherent risks to investment, financial instruments and the sector as a whole have been brought to international and corporate attention. The amendment is not just about climate change, although that is my particular interest; it is about technological and migration changes, and all the other challenges we will face not just as a nation but as a much broader economy over the next few years. That is why a report that looks at these issues is very important. It is the further move forward that we need for our financial stability and for our long-range radar, to see where those risks and challenges come from.

When I first saw the amendment, I assumed that the Bank of England would have to make this report. It is absolutely appropriate that it is in fact the Treasury—and slightly ironic, because I get the impression that, although many parts of government are very positive on the green and climate change agenda, within the Treasury there is perhaps the occasional odd hesitancy. That is why I particularly welcome the amendment, and I hope the Government will consider it extremely seriously.