Markets in Financial Instruments (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:30 pm on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development 9:30 pm, 28th November 2018

That is a good one for the letter. We will certainly address that point; it is a legitimate question to ask.

The noble Baroness, Lady Bowles, asked whether the FCA consultation was timed to come out after the debate should have occurred. No, the FCA operates completely independently of the Treasury. She also asked whether we had considered keeping the post-trade transparency even if pre-trade transparency is suspended. Simply replacing references to EU market data with UK market data in the legislation will result in significantly different calculations and thresholds for market participants. The FCA can use the data available to it. The intention is to maintain the outcomes of the transparency regime. Transparency will continue to operate during the temporary period.

The noble Baroness, Lady Drake, said that the instrument should not set bad precedents. It has been drafted in accordance with Section 8 of the EU withdrawal Act, and some policy changes are an unavoidable result of addressing deficiencies. We have sought to maintain the intended policy outcome of the legislation. She asked whether a sudden change in the requirement would be hard for firms to deal with. We have announced plans to grant the regulators temporary powers to phase in new requirements that would apply to firms in a no-deal exit. Those powers must be exercised by the regulators in accordance with their statutory objectives, as set by the FSMA. This is a sensible measure to ensure that firms have the time needed to adjust in an orderly way.

The question about whether the FCA has enough human capital to carry out its functions and responsibilities is interesting, I undertake to feed that point back to it, and it may feel better placed to respond. The FCA has reported to the Treasury that it is confident that it will have sufficient resources to operate the transitional transparency regime, due to the preparations that it is making. As it set out in its 2018-19 business plan, a significant proportion of its resources are already focused on the forthcoming exit.

The noble Baroness, Lady Drake, asked about the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee report saying that the powers could have been made available to the House before the debate. Unfortunately this was not possible because the FCA had given priority to making regulatory rules fit for purpose in a no-deal scenario, to avoid significant disruption of financial markets. It would also be unusual for the FCA policy to be ready prior to the passing of legislation to which it relates. She also asked about the scale of what was covered—