Documents to download

On 28 January 2021, the second reading of the Financial Services Bill is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords.

The Financial Services Bill is a government bill intended to improve the UK’s regulatory framework for financial services following the end of the Brexit transition period. The bill completed its House of Commons stages on 13 January 2021. It was introduced in the House of Lords on 14 January 2021.

The bill includes measures in a wide range of areas, including some related to Brexit and some aimed at making other improvements to the regulatory framework. The Government states that the measures will support the UK’s position as an international financial centre and enhance the sector’s competitiveness, while maintaining high consumer protection standards. Provisions include:

  • A new regulatory regime for investment firms. The bill would provide the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with additional powers to set rules for such firms, while also containing measures to make the FCA more accountable.
  • Implementing recent updates to international standards on banks’ prudential requirements (Basel III and 3.1).
  • Dealing with issues arising from the withdrawal of the interest rate benchmark the London interbank offer rate (LIBOR).
  • Establishing a new regime to allow certain investment funds based overseas to be marketed to UK clients, including retail investors.
  • Introducing a new debt respite scheme.

The bill received cross-party support in the House of Commons. Several government amendments were made, including applying money laundering regulations to electronic money institutions. No opposition amendments were made. Opposition amendments defeated on division included:

  • bringing buy-now-pay-later credit services into the scope of FCA regulation; and
  • requiring that, when making rules, the FCA should have regard to the UK’s target of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Other concerns raised included whether the bill would provide excessive delegated powers to the UK financial regulators and whether a new corporate offence of failure to prevent economic crime should also be introduced.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement

    On 2 March 2021, the House of Lords is due to take note of the UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement. The agreement would set out the UK and Kenya’s future trading relationship. This article considers the details of the agreement, as well as scrutiny it has received from the House of Lords International Agreements Committee.

    UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement
  • Fashion retail: Time for a new look?

    As part of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, many retail outlets were closed for long periods during 2020. In conjunction with changes in consumer behaviour resulting from reduced socialising and travel, this had a big impact on the global fashion industry. There are concerns about job losses in clothing stores and in the supply chain as a result of these changes. But ahead of London fashion week this month, people are also asking if this is an opportunity for the fashion industry to make permanent changes to how it operates, for the good of both people and the planet.

    Fashion retail: Time for a new look?
  • Mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis: Uprating compensation payment rates

    Mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis are diseases primarily affecting industrial and construction workers. Sufferers are eligible for government compensation schemes if they cannot claim civil damages against their employers. Two sets of regulations would increase the amounts payable by 0.5 percent from 1 April 2021, in line with inflation and the uprating being applied to other disability benefits.

    Mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis: Uprating compensation payment rates