Amendment 11

Part of Financial Services and Markets Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 12:02 pm on 8 June 2023.

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Photo of Lord Vaux of Harrowden Lord Vaux of Harrowden Chair, Finance Committee (Lords), Chair, Finance Committee (Lords) 12:02, 8 June 2023

My Lords, I will comment briefly on government Amendment 11. The competitiveness and growth objective is a long-term, ongoing objective and, with the best will in the world, it is highly unlikely that we will see any discernible change in measurable competitiveness or growth in just two years. The objective does not end in two years and yet the amendment put forward by the Government has only two years’ worth of reporting.

As usual, the noble Lord, Lord Holmes of Richmond, has put together an elegant solution in Amendment 12, which would create an ongoing annual reporting requirement, as well as being a bit more specific about what should be included within the reports. I understand from the Minister’s earlier speech that she expects this to be covered off in the normal annual reporting thereafter, and I think we can probably live with that.

I will add to the comments made by noble Lord, Lord Eatwell, with this caveat: I support the competitiveness and growth objective, but only as a secondary objective. The primary objective of stability must remain paramount. Can the Minister confirm that, as part of the reporting on the competitiveness and growth objective that is expected, the regulators will consider and report on the impact it is having on the primary stability objective? The two are not unconnected, as we have just heard, and it is really important that when we report on one, we also report on its impact on the other.