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 Thank you, both. The second thing that I want to ask you about is accountability. It is true that proper scrutiny of all this requires resources, but that is a question not just for Parliament but for the regulators, which are being given big additional tasks. You have indicated that you are in favour of a more active ongoing role for Parliament, and I would like to give you the chance to tell us a bit more about that. Obviously, the regulators have to have day-to-day freedom to apply regulation at the level of the individual firm, but you are absolutely right, Fran, that in the financial crisis capital was at the heart of this and how we regard that level of resilience for firms.

If we are giving the regulators these big new responsibilities, both at the prudential and the conduct level, how would a more active role for Parliament work? We have one Select Committee that is active in this area, which already has a really broad agenda of work—the Treasury Committee. We have members of it on this Bill Committee, and they all do a great job, but things are pretty thinly stretched. Could you tell us more about how you think Parliament could have a more active role after the onshoring of all this regulatory responsibility? Again, I will start with you, Fran.