On 15 April 2016, the House of Commons Library published a briefing paper on the House of Commons committee stages of the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill 2015-16 (the Bill). The Bill amends the governance and accountability of the Bank of England and includes changes to the PRA.
The paper summarises the committee stage proceedings in the House of Commons, with details of the debates and the amendments made to the Bill. Most of the time in Committee was spent looking at the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, in particular the issue of the ‘reverse burden of proof.’ Several new clauses were also introduced and approved. Items of interest include:
Clause 19 was inserted as a new clause to promote the ideal of diversity within the financial services industry.
Clause 18 formalises the issuance of ‘remit letters’ between the regulators and the Treasury. ‘Remit letters’ are often used by the Treasury to make recommendations to the FCA about aspects of the Government’s economic policy to which the FCA should have regard. The clause was one of several Government new clauses introduced during the Lords report stage and so had not been discussed in the Lords committee stage. At Commons’ committee stage this clause was discussed. While amendments had been suggested, these were rejected and the clause was ultimately approved with no amendments.
A new clause was inserted to, among other things, permit the FCA to collect a levy from consumer credit firms to fund the Illegal Money Lending Teams. The purpose of these teams is to take action against illegal money lending.
The Bill completed its committee stage in the House of Commons on 23 February 2016. According to the webpage for the Bill, the Bill is currently being considered at the House of Commons reports stage and third reading.