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

We are not talking about the secondary legislation; we are talking about the statement—but I take on board the noble Lord’s point.

The noble Baroness, Lady Drake, asked how many firms would be directly impacted by the SI. The answer is approximately 3,300 UK firms and 1,650 EEA firms. The FCA estimates that changes to reporting requirements and IT processes will affect approximately 1,500 branches of EEA firms, and that this will result in a one-off cost to business of £8.75 million.

The noble Baroness, Lady Drake, asked whether the statement would be ready. We have said quite specifically that it will be ready at least four weeks before exit. On views expressed by stakeholders, the Treasury has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, representing large international firms as well as smaller UK businesses.

The noble Lord, Lord Tunnicliffe, asked whether the SI makes policy changes. The UK is putting in place all necessary legislation via the EU withdrawal Act to ensure that there is a functioning legal regime in the event of a no-deal exit in March 2019. He asked whether the FCA will have adequate resources. I covered that point in response to the noble Baronesses, Lady Bowles and Lady Drake. He also asked about the temporary permissions regime that applies for a limited period and who would decide when it ends. The length of the temporary permissions regime is determined in accordance with the EEA Passport Rights (Amendment, etc., and Transitional Provisions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, made on 6 November.

In a previous debate, the noble Lord, Lord Tunnicliffe, asked why the Treasury is solely responsible for the equivalence decisions, which relates to this debate. Across all financial services statutory instruments, the Commission’s functions are transferred to the Treasury. The transferral of equivalence powers is in keeping with this approach. Equivalence decisions are made by the issue of Treasury regulations. Regulations are issued by statutory instrument and subject to parliamentary scrutiny.

Again in a previous debate, the noble Baroness, Lady Bowles, asked whether the impact assessment is accurate given the cost to firms and how extensive MiFID is. The estimated costs of familiarisation have been calculated using the formula given at the end of the impact assessment and relate only to the cost of reading and understanding the instrument. Of course, effective firms will also need to familiarise themselves with a number of materials that are already published.

The noble Lord, Lord Tunnicliffe, asked a further question about whether temporary powers would water down MiFID II. The temporary powers are included to try to preserve outcomes for transparency. Without these flexibilities there would be a cliff-edge risk as to how the transparency regime operates. It would create uncertainty for firms and business, which we are trying to avoid.

With those responses, and the undertaking to study in detail the Official Report and to write on the specific questions raised, I beg to move.

Motion agreed.

House adjourned at 9.38 pm.