Treasury sub-committee launched to scrutinise financial services regulations

The Treasury Committee has announced the launch of the Sub-Committee on Financial Services Regulations, which will scrutinise regulatory proposals for financial services and have powers to “send for persons, papers and records”.

Outlining its approach on the future scrutiny of financial services regulations, the Treasury Committee argued that the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) could present an opportunity to create a “less bureaucratic and significantly more nimble scrutiny process”.

In line with this, the committee suggested that it would be most effective to intervene at the consultation paper stage of the regulatory proposal process, where proposals have crystallised into draft texts but when there is clear scope for influence.

When assessing these proposals, the sub-committee will consider whether the policy is “justified and desirable”, focusing on the balance between services providers and consumers, whether the regulator is acting within their delegated power, and whether the drafting is of the “necessary standard”.

The sub-committee will be chaired by Treasury Committee chair, Mel Stride MP, and will initially be made up of all the members of the Treasury Committee.

It will also be informed and advised on the likely impact, fitness for implementation, and level of appropriate scrutiny for each proposal by a new Financial Services Scrutiny Unit, which will include financial specialists, staff members of the Treasury Committee, and a legal adviser from the Office of Speaker’s Counsel.

Specialist advisers will also be appointed to provide the sub-committee with detailed and expert knowledge.

Commenting on the news, Stride acknowledged that regulators have assumed "significant" new responsibilities following the UK's exit from the EU, arguing that the Treasury Committee is "well placed" to conduct the scrutiny that will be required as a result of this.

"We often consider new regulatory proposals and, given our responsibility to scrutinise the Treasury and its associated regulators, we can take a holistic view of regulatory change," he explained.

“Our approach will be targeted and flexible, with the new sub-committee devoted to the scrutiny of financial regulations and underpinned by a new and well-resourced unit of experts and specialists.”

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