Examination of Witnesses

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:11 pm on 19th November 2020.

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Photo of Pat McFadden Pat McFadden Shadow Economic Secretary (Treasury) 3:11 pm, 19th November 2020

Q Thanks to both of you. We had a bit of a discussion earlier about a suggested reform for preventing economic crime. We were saying that when we get into it, we are probably going to be told to wait for the Law Commission. I have a feeling that, on accountability, we are going to be told to wait for the future regulatory framework review to conclude, but I do want to ask you about this area and about the duties on regulators, and I would like to start with the latter.

The Bill, in schedules 2 and 3, sets out new accountability frameworks for the regulators. They are to abide by relevant international standards and to have regard to the relative standing of the UK as a place for internationally active investment firms to be based, or to other matters specified by the Treasury. I would like to ask whether you think it is appropriate for broader goals to be considered in that regulatory framework, and I am thinking particularly of environmental, social and governance goals. The UK wants to be a leader in that area. The Chancellor of the Exchequer set out an ambitious environmental agenda for our financial services industries in his statement about 10 days ago. Do you think that the Bill is an opportunity to put regulatory weight behind the ESG agenda?