“(1) The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 is amended as follows.
(2) After Section 1C insert—
‘1CA Duty of care specification
(1) In securing an appropriate degree of protection for consumers, the FCA must ensure authorised persons carrying out regulated activities are acting with a Duty of Care to all consumers.
(2) Matters the FCA should consider when drafting Duty of Care rules include, but are not limited to—
(a) the duties of authorised persons to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interest of their consumers;
(b) the duties of authorised persons to manage conflicts of interest fairly, both between themselves and their clients, and between clients;
(c) the extent to which the duties of authorised persons entail an ethical commitment not merely compliance with rules;
(d) that the duties must be owned by senior managers who would be accountable for their individual firm’s approach.’”—
This new clause would mean that the FCA would need to ensure that financial services providers are acting with a duty of care to act in the best interests of all consumers.
On a point of order, Dr Huq, I would like to thank you and Mr Davies for your chairmanship during the proceedings, and the Clerks from the Public Bill Office for helping all of us with our amendments in recent weeks. I would like to thank my colleagues on the Opposition side of the Chamber; I believe we approached this in the right spirit. We set out at the beginning the way we would approach it and I think that is the way that we have carried through: trying to improve the Bill, to give it proper scrutiny and to try to point to some kind of future direction for UK financial services as we come to the end of the transition period. Some of us here are Front-Bench Members and this is part of our terms of appointment, so, with their indulgence, I would particularly like to thank my hon. Friends the Members for Wallasey and for Walthamstow, who I believe both brought considerable experience and value to our proceedings.
I would like to thank the Minister for his patience and forbearance. We did not set out to torture him, I promise, but I appreciate that for him, taking through a Bill like this is a substantial piece of work, and I am grateful to him for the spirit in which he responded to amendments, questions and so on as we went through. Finally, I thank the Back Benchers on the Government side. For the most part they took a rather passive approach to the proceedings. There is a mixture of experience and new MPs on that side. To the new MPs in particular I will say that I hope the last three weeks have been an important part of their learning about what it means to be a Government Back Bencher.
Further to that point of order, Dr Huq, I thank the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton South East for the courteous and constructive way in which he led the Opposition scrutiny of the Bill. I thank all members of the Committee for their contributions. I looked carefully at all amendments, and I did not categorise them in buckets. I thank you, Dr Huq, and your colleague Philip Davies, and the team of Clerks, as well as my officials from the Treasury, who sit silently at the end and do a great deal to support me and the much wider team back in the Treasury who have helped to prepare the Bill. Clearly, we shall now move on to its further stages, and there is more work to do. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield for his support, in particular, as well as my hon. Friend the Member for Montgomeryshire, who has given me enormous support throughout.
Further to that point of order, Dr Huq, I thank you for your time in the Chair, and Philip Davies as well. I want to thank colleagues for their contributions, the Clerks for all their assistance, and the Treasury officials, who were good about meeting us ahead of the proceedings. That was really useful. I thank our team of researchers, Scott Taylor and Linda Nagy, who have been great in providing support to us. I also thank those who sent evidence to the Committee. That was extremely useful for briefings, and we were grateful.
The Minister said earlier that he was not saying no or never; I live in hope that some time he will say mibbes aye. We might get there, yet. I said on Second Reading that we would bring forward constructive amendments and the Government would ignore them, and that turned out to be what happened, but we hope that on Report perhaps some of the good Opposition suggestions, made with the best intentions to make things better for all our constituents, will be taken on board. I thank the Minister for his work on the issue.
Yes, it has been epic, and we have had the Oscar-type speeches that everyone makes at the end. I am sure that all right hon. and hon. Members were actively engaged in their own way, whether they were trying out the financial products on their screens, or whatever. A few letters are on their way, I believe, from the Minister about some points of detail raised by Members.