Clause 16 - Listing rules: disciplinary powers in relation to sponsors

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 8th March 2012.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 9:30 am, 8th March 2012

I certainly agree with the hon. Member for Nottingham East that it is important, when appropriate, that documents are laid before Parliament, and the Bill identifies circumstances when that should happen. For example, under clause 77, reports into failure should be laid before Parliament, as should annual accounts. The clause is about various rules and guidance, and there is a danger that we lay too much before Parliament. We do not want to avoid parliamentary accountability or scrutiny, but there is a risk that we lose sight of the important documents that Parliament should scrutinise and those documents on which Parliament should hold the regulator to account.

Routine and detailed materials, such as rules and guidance, or statements of policy on penalties, should be published by the Financial Services Authority, but they do not need, given their volume, to be laid before Parliament. We do not disagree with the principle of laying documents before Parliament, and we have stipulated elsewhere in the Bill that that can happen, but we want  to apply a materiality threshold to avoid Parliament being swamped by rather detailed and quite prescriptive bits of guidance.