The Financial Services Bill has reached report stage in the House of Lords and today (14 April 2021) I will be putting forward an amendment asking the Government to work with the Bank of England to consider the, potentially pivotal, role the Bank could play in relation to financial inclusion.

Amendment 35 in full:

Insert the following new Clause—

Financial Policy Committee: financial exclusion

(1) The Bank of England Act 1998 is amended as follows.

(2) In section 9C (objectives of the Financial Policy Committee) after paragraph (1)(b) insert— “(c) monitoring exclusion from financial services in the United Kingdom.”

(3) Within six months of the passing of this Act, the Treasury must report on any progress made by the Bank of England on offering basic bank accounts directly to financially-excluded individuals.

Amendment 35, Lord Holmes of Richmond, Report Stage 2, Financial Services Bill, House of Lords, 10 March 2021

The amendment seeks a reimagination of what is generally accepted to come within the consideration of financial stability.  If Covid-19 has taught us anything, from a finance perspective, it is that traditional thinking on what financial stability is seems, well, somewhat traditional.

The Bank of England, with its unfettered brand and unique place in the economy and society, could step in and deal directly with individuals in terms of the provision of basic bank accounts, held at the Bank.  This could prove a key driver in terms of financial inclusion as well as driving serious innovation in terms of financial inclusion. The role of the Bank could help, really help, individuals currently shut out of mainstream financial services provision. 

Individuals banked, at ‘The Bank’, economic, social, psychological potential enabled.  Certainly worth consideration and I hope the Government will agree.

Report Stage Amendments:

Cashback Without Purchase

Digital ID, Open Finance, Digital Infrastructure and Digital Payments

Committee Stage Amendments:

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Improving Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) rights by permitting rights of action for breaches of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) handbook.

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Introducing a Review of Financial Services Regulations.

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Adding a Financial Inclusion Objective to the Remit of the Financial Conduct Authority

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Duty to Report on Environmental, Social and Governance Status of Funds

Financial Services Bill Amendment: The Case for Regional Mutual Banks

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Lead Generators – Time for Regulation

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Updating the Know Your Customer [KYC] -Identity Verification- Process

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Provision of Debt Advice

Financial Services Bill Amendments: Timetable and Funding for SDRP Arrangements

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Sale of Mortgage Loan Books

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Financial Policy Committee & Financial Exclusion

Financial Services Bill Amendment: Review on Cashback Without Purchase

Financial Services Bill Amendments: Ethical AI

Financial Services Bill Amendments: Distributed Ledger Technologies

Financial Services Bill Amendments: Digital ID and Other Digital ‘Infrastructure’

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