Clause 36 - Regulations about financial collateral arrangements

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 1 December 2020.

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Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 4:15, 1 December 2020

Clause 36 serves to clarify existing legislation concerning financial collateral arrangements. This issue dates back to 2003, when the Treasury introduced the Financial Collateral Arrangements (No.2) Regulations 2003, or FCARs, to transpose the EU financial collateral arrangements directive, or FCAD, into UK law. The FCAD was introduced to simplify the process of taking financial collateral across the EU.

Subsequent litigation has questioned the UK’s implementation of the FCAD—specifically the extent to which the FCARs went beyond the scope of the FCAD. However, that litigation has not invalidated the FCARs, and they are extensively relied on by market participants entering into financial collateral arrangements. The clause removes any doubt about the validity of the FCARs. The clause has retrospective effect, confirming the legal effectiveness of the financial collateral arrangements made in reliance on the FCARs since their introduction in 2003. It also confirms the legal effectiveness of any future such arrangements.

By reaffirming the FCARs, the risk of legal doubt and any resulting financial instability is removed. This measure will therefore help to facilitate the Bill’s broader aims of promoting financial stability and maintaining the effectiveness of sound capital markets. I therefore recommend that the clause stand part of the Bill.