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Clause 30 - Power to take disciplinary measures against recognised bodies

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 8th March 2012.

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Photo of Mark Durkan Mark Durkan Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SDLP Spokesperson (Treasury) 3:45 pm, 8th March 2012

Many people do not believe that it is. I hope they take that clear assurance from the Minister and can rely on it, because they do not feel confident at the minute. We might need to return to this matter on Report to ensure that the assurances are there.

Amendment 130 refers to the Regulatory Decisions Committee, which was created by the FSA in light of a previous review. It was tasked with ensuring that there was due process and that investigations were not taken to be an act of enforcement or judgment. The due process involved ensuring that the people involved in an investigation were not the only ones making the judgment as to its outcome—whether that be its findings or any penalty imposed as a result. People in the sector say that they would like the Regulatory Decisions Committee to be at least given a statutory footing, and it is not enough to say that it will continue despite not being provided for in statute.

Before the Minister says that it is incomplete, the amendment is an inadequate provision. Just one reference to the Regulatory Decisions Committee would not be enough, because it does not properly source it, guarantee anything about its style or make-up, or state that it would include both practitioners and non-practitioners, which it does at present. The amendment is simply a pointer for the Government that highlights an omission in the Bill in that due process should be better reflected in the processes by which such decisions are made. A more extensive provision relating to the Regulatory Decisions Committee or some new entity of that type would perhaps be a way of doing that.