FSMB Lords Committee third day

The Lords Grand Committee had its third day of discussion on the FSM Bill on 1 February. The session covered:

  • a group of amendments designed to test how the regulators apply their competitiveness and growth objectives and obliging them to undertake and publish reports on specific sectors and initiatives, which will enable effective oversight and scrutiny of their work. The Government prefers what Baroness Penn described as a flexible mechanism for such reporting – Amendment 45 was withdrawn;
  • a group of amendments designed to impose legal accountability on the regulators for their actions in replacing retained EU laws and imposing objectives of predictability and consistency and a regulatory principle of efficiency. Baroness Penn said the Government supports efficiency, predictability and proportionality of regulation but thinks the current system achieves that. She said some of the amendments may in fact impose unwanted restraints and that the existing regime and the Government’s proposals in the Bill will suffice.  Amendment 46 was withdrawn;
  • the concept of “aligning to international standards”, what this means and whether it gives too much weight to policies developed outside the UK which could damage UK competitiveness and growth. Baroness Penn responded that Clause 24 of the Bill recognisees that it is right that the regulators can look at the international picture and that it will require a balance approach which cannot be incompatible with their existing primary objectives. Clause 25 introduces a new regulatory principle to require FCA and PRA to have regard to the net zero target. Amendment 47 was withdrawn and amendments 48-54 not moved.

Emma Radmore