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Lords examines Financial Services Bill at committee stage

25 February 2021

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The Financial Services Bill continued its committee stage, the first chance for line by line scrutiny, in the Lords on Wednesday 24 February.

Members considered a range of topics, including parliamentary approval of powers given to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and climate-related financial risk.

The committee stage of this bill is taking place in Grand Committee, away from the chamber. In Grand Committee, any member can take part and decisions on amendments (changes) can be made, but no votes can take place.

Committee stage continues on Monday 1 March.

Committee stage day one: Monday 22 February

Members discussed a range of topics, including the duty of care of financial services providers, exploitation of consumers and small businesses, and international competitiveness of financial services.

Second reading: Thursday 28 January

Members discussed a range of subjects highlighted by the bill, including market access between the UK and Gibraltar, powers granted to the Financial Conduct Authority and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lord Agnew of Oulton (Conserverative), Minister of State in HM Treasury, opened the debate and responded on behalf of the government.

Speakers included a former vice president of Citibank and a member of the Bank of England Enforcement Decision Making Committee.

Lord Hammond of Runnymede (Conservative), former Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Baroness Shafik (Crossbench), board member of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, gave their maiden speeches in the House.

Financial Services Bill

This bill aims to:

  • ensure the UK's regulatory framework continues to function
    effectively following withdrawal from the EU
  • promote financial stability by implementing the full set of Basel III standards, a new prudential regime for investment firms, and empowering the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to oversee the transition away from the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) benchmark
  • promote openness with international markets by simplifying the way overseas investment funds are marketed in the UK
  • deliver a ministerial commitment to provide long-term access
    between the UK and Gibraltar for financial services firms
  • introduce measures to maintain the effectiveness of the
    financial services’ regulatory framework and sound capital markets.

Image: PA