2. Introducing a Review of Financial Services Regulations.

Today (22 February 2021) is the first day of Committee Stage for the Financial Services Bill in the House of Lords. I will be speaking in support of several amendments and putting forward three particular amendments in my own name.

Second of my amendments to be debated during todays proceedings will be amendment 113, which I am putting forward to provide the opportunity to review all financial services rules and regulations. The full text of the proposed amendment is:

Insert the following new Clause: 

“Review of financial services regulations

(1) Within six months of the passing of this Act, the Secretary of State must undertake a review of—

(a) all financial services regulations, and

(b) the rules of all financial services regulators, including the PRA and the FCA.

(2) The review under subsection

(1) must have the aim of ensuring such regulations and rules— (a) are proportionate,

(b) encourage economic growth, and

(c) do not inhibit innovation or competition.”

Amendment 113, Lord Holmes of Richmond, Committee Stage Day 1, Financial Services Bill, House of Lords 22 February 2021

The aim is fairly self explanatory.  If a rule or regulation is in place, then proportionality must be a cornerstone.  Proportionality must be considered in the current Covid context and beyond.  The rule or regulation should do what is intended and no more.

Economic growth should be an important consideration at all times, and absolutely critical now.  We are in the midst of a horrific health crisis, it is accompanied by a similar economic one.  In this context, it seems worthwhile to review, line by line, every rule and every regulation – to ensure that it does nothing to even suggest stymieing economic growth. Quite the contrary, effective regulation is part of enabling growth which is, and will be, desperately needed.

Finally, the “innovation and competition” point is absolutely key.  We are living in the foothills of the 4th industrial revolution.  As is always the case, if we are to excel, if we are to optimise, finance must be right there – enabling and empowering.  Financial services can only achieve this if they are right to the fore of that innovation curve. 

Again, it is both a question of ensuring rules and regulations are not only constructed so as not to impede, but also, they are put in such a manner as to assist.  Just as the financial services themselves, the rules and regulations must play a part in our innovation journey.  They must and they can: just look at what extraordinary outcomes we achieved when we adopted such a positive approach in our mobile telecoms world.

Related posts:

Financial Services Bill Amendments: 1. Improving Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) rights by permitting rights of action for breaches of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) handbook.

Financial Services Bill Amendments: 3. Adding a Financial Inclusion Objective to the Remit of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

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