Simon Kirby: My hon. Friend raises an interesting point. This Government are doing more than ever before to tackle this important issue. When it comes to money laundering, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has called for evidence on the use of limited partnerships, which were raised by the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Roger Mullin), and will in due course consider...
Simon Kirby: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that in this country we have not only a world-regarded financial regulation system but a rule of law that is both fair and effective. If there is any wrongdoing or impropriety, it is right and proper that those people face the full weight of the law.
Simon Kirby: I am not aware of the exact answer to that question, but I will write to my hon. Friend with all the information I have. I am convinced that, across the world and in this country, money laundering is taken very seriously.
Simon Kirby: I make it clear that I am not aware of any connection. It is right and proper that the FCA and the NCA have been watching that issue for some time. It is a confidential matter; if there is new information, I am sure they will consider it.
Simon Kirby: I reassure my hon. Friend that that is the case. It is right and proper that the issue of money laundering is addressed from top to bottom. Everyone has a responsible part to play.
Simon Kirby: I am sure that the MOJ will listen carefully to the hon. Lady’s point.
Simon Kirby: The people with significant control register is open for everyone to see. Thousands, if not millions, of people are able to see it. Transparency is absolutely the best thing to make people aware of wrongdoing and to make sure that nothing is hidden.
Simon Kirby: That is not the Chancellor’s vision. The Government are currently consulting on the fourth money laundering directive. I have mentioned the Criminal Finances Bill, which is in the other place. The FCA is also vigilant in enforcing measures, and it takes misconduct very seriously.
Simon Kirby: My hon. Friend will be pleased that the fourth money laundering directive, which the Government are consulting on as we speak, includes provision for a more proportionate approach to that very issue, and I hope he takes part in the consultation. I also hope that the banks, with FCA guidance and a Government steer, will have to take a proportionate approach in the very near future.
Simon Kirby: I hope the NCA and the FCA would, if appropriate, do a considerable amount about it. They are independently operational bodies. It is right and proper that I cannot comment at the Dispatch Box about what may or may not happen. However, if there is wrongdoing, it is right and proper that it is addressed.
Simon Kirby: The hon. Gentleman raises an interesting point. It is important to co-operate with countries around the world. We have been very clear that we will work with the Financial Action Task Force and other regulators around the world, and that is important. This is not something we can solve domestically on our own.
Simon Kirby: I would imagine that the FCA is in contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and, if appropriate, they will have conversations about this issue. What is important is that, if these allegations are correct, and any new information is presented, the NCA and the FCA act on it appropriately.
Simon Kirby: I am very sorry, but I have been doing my very best to answer the questions that have been asked. Sadly, I cannot be held responsible for the quality or the content of the questions. What I would say is that I am the Minister responsible for financial services, and the Government are responsible for legislating in this place and in the other place. To answer the hon. Lady’s question, the...
Simon Kirby: It is important to say that these schemes operated from 2010 to 2014. The hon. Member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Alan Brown) mentioned that The Independent first raised the story in 2014. However, if there is new evidence, it is important that the NCA and the FCA look at it and act accordingly. We set up those bodies to act operationally and independently from Government, and that is right...
Simon Kirby: An error has been identified in the written answer given on 02 March 2017. The correct answer should have been: The number of recorded contract managers is relative to the number of live contracts let across the Department. As at 27 February 2016, there are 896 recorded civil servants with responsibility for managing contracts.
Simon Kirby: The number of recorded contract managers is relative to the number of live contracts let across the Department. As at 27 February 2016, there are 896 recorded civil servants with responsibility for managing contracts.
Simon Kirby: The Government is committed to increasing competition in banking and creating an environment in which firms compete to offer a range of products that suit the varying needs of their customers. The independent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules do not prevent self-employed customers from getting a mortgage. The FCA’s rules recognise that lenders should have flexibility to decide what...
Simon Kirby: All Government Departments are bound by legal requirements concerning the right to work in the UK and, in addition, the Civil Service Nationality Rules. Evidence of nationality is checked at the point of recruitment into the Civil Service as part of wider pre-employment checks, but there is no requirement on departments to retain this information beyond the point at which it has served its...
Simon Kirby: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Simon Kirby: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Government believes that people have the right to a higher wage and not to be punished by higher taxes. As part of this, from April 2016, we introduced a new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) for workers aged 25 and above, and this will rise to £7.50 an hour in April 2017. We...