In our evidence sessions we took evidence from a number of bodies, such as the medical and legal professions. In these established professions, a number of steps are taken to separate disciplinary functions from the supervision of professional development. In the legal profession, for example, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal is totally separate from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and has a mixture of lay and professional members. The SRA has no say in its composition. It is in effect a prosecutor before a tribunal.

We took evidence from Sir Peter Rubin, who chairs the General Medical Council, who described similar recent developments in the medical profession. He told us that following the Shipman inquiry, it was pointed out to the GMC that its previous arrangements, whereby it was the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the judge, jury and everything else, in his words, were incompatible with Section 6 of the Human Rights Act. Essentially, no one should adjudge their own cause so last year, as he told us, they hived off the adjudication process under which cases against doctors are heard to a separate body in a separate building. It is still funded by the GMC but, crucially, a judge now runs the adjudication process. It is now petitioning Parliament to give the GMC the power to appeal when it does not agree with one of its findings. In his opinion, that would really get the complete separation going.

In our deliberations the commission noted that an entirely separate statutory body for enforcement could be a solution but we recognised that there were a number of obstacles to that, not least because it would generate a new regulatory body that could be a source of confusion and conflict. An independent enforcement body would still be reliant on supervisors for many

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referrals that could in effect result in fewer cases if there were any problems co-operating with the FCA and the PRA. The body that we mentioned should be chaired by someone with senior judicial experience.

We also recommended a joint review by the regulators of their enforcement arrangements in 2018 but to date the Government have been silent on that issue. In the debate in the House of Commons, our chairman Andrew Tyrie made the point that the Government have rejected the need to wind up United Kingdom Financial Investments, and that the regulatory reforms to provide statutory autonomy for the decisions committee is especially regrettable. I would like the Government to give us their views on that joint approach by 2018.

We are seeking a body to be appointed by agreement between the boards of the PRA and the FCA with a majority of members with a non-banking or financial services background, containing several members with extensive and senior banking experience. It should be chaired by a person with senior judicial experience. In that way, it could publish a separate annual report of its activities and of the lessons for banks that emerged from its decisions.

When the FCA representatives were giving us evidence, Tracey McDermott, the director of enforcement, told us that the FSA had still not solved the problem of ensuring that senior figures were properly subject to the enforcement process. She said:

“The focus on senior management is something that we have talked about a lot in the FSA but we have found it very difficult to bring home the responsibility, particularly in larger firms, to those who are further up because of confused lines of accountability and because of confused responsibility”.

I would ask the Minister to keep in mind that there is an inherent tension between the role of real-time regulators and the enforcement function that can involve reaching judgments on which matters supervisors were involved in at the time, and that regulators are focused on the big picture, such as maintaining financial stability. Again, from experience I have witnessed the enforcement process being devalued in that area. There were a number of areas where the FSA at the time should have been on to enforcement procedures, particularly in the 2004-06 period of the financial crisis. It avoided those areas.

The proposal that we are making here is quite a modest one. It is for a statutory autonomous body within the FCA, and in 2018 there should be a review. I hope that Government will take those propositions seriously, reflect on them and come back to us. I beg to move.

Lord Eatwell: My Lords, I was a member of the first regulatory decisions committee established under the Financial Services Authority. It was established at that time because it was felt that the FSA’s procedures would run counter to the Human Rights Act, in the sense that those procedures were both judge and jury. The role of the committee was to act as an independent assessor of the regulatory and enforcement proposals put forward by the FSA.

It worked reasonably well, at least from the perspective of a member of the committee, but not from the perspective of the FSA; we tended to give it a rather difficult time when we felt that its cases were ill prepared

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and ill focused. It played a particular role for a short period. Then, after a particular dramatic case was lost by the FSA in the tribunal, the FSA decided that it did not like the RDC being foisted upon it, and the role of the RDC was slowly downgraded. I think that was unfortunate—obviously I do, because I participated in the early days when I thought it was working rather well, but be that as it may.

The role here is slightly different from the challenge role that the RDC played. Will the Minister address the question of whether any effective enforcement role for a regulator is compatible with the Human Rights Act?

Lord Newby: My Lords, we have considered extremely carefully all the recommendations from the PCBS. They contain a number of observations about the importance of banking expertise, accountability, clarity of responsibility and consistency of decision-making, which we certainly agree with.

I shall explain how the current arrangements already deliver all those things in a way that is tailored to the regulators’ individual approaches. First, on expertise, the call to create a separate decisions committee solely for the banking sector partly reflects concerns about the level of banking expertise on the RDC. At the FCA, the regulatory decisions committee is responsible for taking enforcement decisions. Its remit extends beyond banking, but that does not mean that it does not contain banking expertise. Indeed, the FCA has recently addressed the balance of expertise on the RDC through the appointment of two new members with banking expertise. At the PRA, of course there is no lack of banking expertise on its decision-making committees.

Secondly, on clarity of roles and responsibility, Section 395 of FiSMA provides for the separation of supervision from disciplinary decision-making. Under the current arrangements, there is also a clear separation of the function of making enforcement decisions from that of judicial consideration of the issue.

I do not accept the argument that the fact that the PRA does not have an RDC gives rise to human rights concerns. We do not believe that there is a problem on that front. The prospect of decisions being appealed to the Upper Tribunal means that the system already provides an independent judicial challenge function to the decision-making process for all financial services cases. The proposed requirement for regulatory decisions to be made by a committee chaired by a person with senior judicial experience, on the other hand, would appear to give this new committee a quasi-judicial role more suitable for an external review tribunal than an internal decision-making body.

On consistency of decision-making, I understand that a key part of the recommendation was to encourage a greater consistency of decision-making across the PRA and the FCA. Unfortunately, I believe that the creation of an additional statutory committee for banks would create only new inconsistency. The new committee relates only to banking, so any enforcement decisions relating to a building society, insurer or investment firm would be made under the existing framework and the FCA would have to maintain the existing RDC. This would mean one body dealing

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with the breach of a rule by a bank and a different body dealing with the same breach of the same rule by a building society, with potentially different outcomes, which seems undesirable. While I think that the PCBS report contains some useful observations in this area, I believe that the current, flexible arrangements are the right ones. On that basis, I would be grateful if the noble Lord withdrew his amendment.

Lord McFall of Alcluith: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 91 withdrawn.

10.15 pm

Amendment 91A

Moved by Lord Lawson of Blaby

91A: After Clause 15, insert the following new Clause—

“Excessive lobbying by banks

(1) If the Governor thinks that the way in which banks are lobbying about regulation or policy is creating a risk to the stability or effective regulation of the banking sector, the Governor must lay a report before Parliament.

(2) In subsection (1) “lobbying” means activities designed to influence Her Majesty’s Government, the FCA or the Bank of England.

(3) In this section “bank” has the meaning given by section 2 of the Banking Act 2009.”

Lord Lawson of Blaby: My Lords, I shall be brief; the hour is getting late. Like the amendment that I spoke to earlier about the desirability of having somebody on the Financial Policy Committee who had some knowledge of past financial crises, which I regret that the Government have not accepted, this amendment is also a proposal of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards. It is about lobbying. The context of this applies to all bank lobbying, but it is particularly important in the context of what we were discussing last week in Committee, namely the ring-fence. We were very concerned, as my noble friend the Minister will recall, that this should be strengthened and kept under review. We had various proposals to that end.

In the United States, the parallel was the separation through the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. That, as my noble friend the Minister will be aware, was gradually eroded over time. It was eroded in two ways. First, the banks found ways round it to some extent. More importantly, by extensive lobbying, the banks were able to get the Government of the day to do a little amendment here and a little amendment there, which created loopholes which did not previously exist. We know that, following the recommendation for the ring-fence in the Vickers commission and report. The banks only accepted it with gritted teeth. They were not happy; they accepted it very reluctantly. They will clearly be seeking any way they can, including through lobbying, to get a change here and a change there over time which will enable them to undermine the ring-fence. That is natural; they feel it to be in their interest.

Times have changed. When I became Chancellor 30 years ago, the Bank of England had no responsibility for monetary policy, which was my responsibility. It did however have the dual responsibility of the regulation and supervision of the banking sector, and being the

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sponsoring department for banks, representing the interests of the banks to the Chancellor of the day. If the banks had points to make in those days, they would go first and only to the Governor of the Bank of England. The governor would assess whether he felt there was merit in what they were saying, and if there was he would go and see the Chancellor and put the banks’ points to him. That has all changed. Now, the banks go directly to the Government of the day. Indeed it is no secret that the carpets in Number 10 and Number 11 Downing Street have been worn almost threadbare by the lobbying of the banks. That caused great concern to the previous Governor of the Bank of England, and we had some concern about it in the commission. We felt that the best remedy was encapsulated in this amendment: that if the Governor of the Bank of England of the day feels concerned, he should be able to flag it up in a public way. The hope is that that deterrent will keep the amount of lobbying within reasonable bounds. There is the opportunity to do that, and indeed there is a requirement to do that.

That is what we are suggesting in this amendment. Even though the hour is late, I hope that my noble friend will reflect seriously on this proposal and the merit of accepting it.

Lord Newby: My Lords, I agree with my noble friend that the Governor of the Bank of England should never hesitate to speak out should he have concerns about the influence of lobbying by the financial services industry. However, we do not believe that there is a problem. Indeed, I fully expect that the governor would raise the alarm to both the Government and Parliament if he believed that any particular factor or circumstances, including lobbying by a bank, seriously put at risk the Bank’s ability to meet its objectives.

However, the Government do not believe that it is either necessary or desirable for this specific requirement to be placed on the statute book. The Financial Services Act 2012 brought together responsibility for all aspects of financial stability within the Bank of England group. As a result, the Bank has a statutory objective to protect and enhance the stability of the financial system. The Government are confident that the governor will act appropriately if he believes that excessive lobbing is impeding the Bank’s ability to meet that objective, which would obviously be the case if there was lobbying with the intention of undermining the ring-fence. Indeed, the Bank has already committed to raising the alarm in such circumstances in its response to the Commission on Banking Standards.

Therefore, while we fully accept that one of the roles of the governor is to raise the alarm if he believes that bank lobbying or indeed anything else creates a risk of undermining the stability or regulation of the banking sector, it is simply not necessary to have such a requirement in the Bill.

Lord Lawson of Blaby: I have heard what my noble friend has said and I am slightly reassured. I hope that the present Governor of the Bank of England will read those words and will realise that, without it being on the statute book, he has been charged by the

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Government with a duty to raise the alarm if there is any case of excessive lobbying. I am very glad to have that on the record, and I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 91A withdrawn.

Amendment 91B

Moved by Lord Phillips of Sudbury

91B: After Clause 15, insert the following new Clause—

“Review of the exemption of certain business gaming contracts from the Gaming Acts

(1) The Treasury must institute a review of the effects of certain business gaming contracts having been made enforceable by the repeal of certain provisions of the Gaming Acts pursuant to the Financial Services Act 1986 (as amended).

(2) “Effect” shall include the social, cultural and ethical effects.

(3) The Treasury may appoint one or more persons to undertake the review after consultation with the Bank of England, the PRA, the FCA and such others as it decides on such terms as it shall think fit.

(4) The review shall culminate in a report to the Treasury within two years of the coming into force of this Act.

(5) The Treasury must lay the report before Parliament and thereafter publish the same.”

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, after 10.20 pm and with less than a dozen of us still hanging on, I shall be remarkably brief in moving this amendment, which I hope has the advantage of self-clarity.

My starting point is the Financial Services Act 1986, which, as noble Lords will remember, ushered in big bang. Section 63 of and Schedule 1 to the 1986 Act exempted certain City dealing contracts from the effects of the Gaming Acts 1845 and 1892. Up until that time those contracts—which were purely gaming contracts—were unenforceable. Since then, the exemptions have been extended, first by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and further by the Gambling Act 2005.

It is a matter of considerable debate, within the City in particular, about just what the impact of this extremely fast-growing market has been over the years, because fast-growing it has been. I suppose that among all the types of City dealing that have benefited most from exemption from the Gaming Acts there would be much hedge fund activity, which now runs into trades worth trillions of pounds.

It would be beneficial for all concerned to have a review, simply set up and in the hands of the Treasury. The disadvantages of this type of market may be few; they may be beneficial. Many consider that they are a dangerous element in our economic life, because they exaggerate swings and drive markets to extremes. I am afraid that they are susceptible to corruption, in particular, and the most famous or notorious summation of these markets, depending on your point of view, was when Adair Turner—the noble Lord, Lord Turner of Ecchinswell—described them as “socially useless”. I seem to remember from when I was at Cambridge reading economics, ploughing through John Maynard Keynes’s General Theory, that there was one very striking comment in there. I have not quite got it word

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for word, but the gist is that when the operation of the markets becomes akin to that of a casino, the job is likely to be ill done.

This amendment carries no pre-judgement, but will allow us a cool and collected—and, some would say, overdue—look at the impact of this particular market, the gambling market as you might call it, and see just how it stands. Noble Lords will note in particular that when saying that the Treasury must institute a review of the effects of these gaming contracts, in proposed new subsection (2) of Amendment 91B “effect” is defined as including the,

“social, cultural and ethical effects”,

of this type of gaming business.

As I say, the framework I have provided is a light one. The Treasury will appoint the members of the review committee and describe its terms of reference within the constraints I have put down. In deciding who is going to be part of the review, the Treasury has to consult the Bank of England, the PRA and the FCA. Then there is simply an obligation for the review committee to report within two years of the Act coming into force, and for the Treasury to lay the report before Parliament and then publish more widely. I hope that this will commend itself to the House. I beg to move.

Lord Newby: My Lords, this amendment proposes that the Treasury should be required to undertake a review into the effects, including the social, cultural and ethical effects, of exempting certain gaming contracts from the rule which used to provide that no gaming contract or wager can be enforced in a court of law. That exemption applied to certain categories of financial contracts, such as derivative contracts like contracts for differences, which could be regarded as gaming contracts within the meaning of the Gaming Acts because of their characteristics. Only those transactions which were subject to regulation under Financial Services legislation, such as the Financial Services Act 1986, and more recently the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, ever benefited from the exemption.

However, the law has changed significantly in this area. Since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force, gaming contracts and wagers are now enforceable through the courts, except in Northern Ireland, and the effect of the exemption is therefore limited to Northern Ireland. In the rest of the United Kingdom, there is no difference in the enforceability of derivative investments and other gaming contracts and wagers. Much of the purpose of the review proposed has therefore, in the Government’s view, gone.

It is also unclear what action could be taken following such a review. Trading in financial instruments is subject to European law, and in particular the markets in financial instruments directive. This limits the extent of the action this country could take in relation to financial instruments falling within the scope of the directive. It is unclear what benefits such a review could bring and we suggest that the noble Lord withdraws his amendment on the basis that it is not proportionate or objectively justified.

Lord McFall of Alcluith: My Lords, I am surprised that the Minister is saying that we do not know what benefit this could bring. After all this is a derivatives

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market. We are talking about a derivatives market globally with $66 trillion or more. Not only is there a complexity in that market but there is a total opaqueness. Warren Buffett called derivatives weapons of mass financial destruction. So there is benefit in looking at this issue. Given that the parliamentary banking standards commission’s remit was to look at culture and standards, I would like the Minister to reflect on that issue with culture. In my opinion, culture is about behaviour and ethics is about conflicts of interest. In an opaque market, there are many conflicts of interest, and therefore it would do the Government good to open up this market and see what benefits could result.

The noble Lord, Lord Phillips, has done the Committee a service in this matter. We know that the market will not change overnight, but we must understand what is in the market, particularly the derivatives market. I would like the Government to take this a bit more seriously than the Minister has taken it in saying that we cannot learn anything at all from this.

10.30 pm

Lord Newby: My Lords, I would not want the noble Lord to think that the Government were being complacent at all about this issue. In particular, I would not want him to think that we were being complacent about the issue of culture. Of necessity, today we have been talking about legislative change but, as we said at an earlier stage, and as the most reverend Primate reminded us at an earlier stage in this debate, the whole question of culture is as important as legislation.

What constitutes culture is a broad, almost philosophical question, but one key thing that is already evident is that some of the more senior managers of some of the bigger banks have recognised that, if we are to get the kind of banking system that the population as a whole is looking for, they need to change their ways. The chief executive of Barclays set out his stall when he was appointed. The way in which he has sought to instil a new culture through the organisation is very impressive. But one challenge that he has, no doubt—we see this not just in the banks but across the world, whenever there is any big change in the way things happen—is how to get a cultural change trickling down the organisation. It is not just a matter of the chief executive, for whom making a statement about culture is relatively straightforward, making that statement; that is happening, to a very acceptable degree. But how can we ensure that the culture that we require of everybody in the banks changes?

One way in which that is going to happen is, one hopes, through the new statement of principles of banking practice that we discussed earlier. If everybody knows when they go into a bank that they are expected to behave in a different way than possibly they thought in the past and they know that, unless they follow a whole series of principles there on a piece of paper, they are liable for disciplinary procedure, they are likely to behave in a more acceptable manner. I am sure that that would be welcome across the country.

The other big thing that we believe can help in terms of culture is the promotion of the mutuals sector that we were talking about earlier. The Nationwide

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Building Society has always been at the top of the list for customer satisfaction levels, and that shows no sign of diminishing. To the extent that the building society movement continues to grow, so will the culture improve across the system as a whole.

I realise that I have strayed slightly from where the noble Lord started out in terms of derivatives contracts. But for most of the population, it is at the retail end that culture affects them.

The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, I am slightly surprised that the Minister should be resistant to what seems to me a very reasonable amendment. One of the dangers that we have faced in the markets over many years is that of parallel markets. The derivatives markets are, as we know, opaque, as has already been remarked on, and we examined them in some detail in the banking standards commission. The computer-driven markets are also very opaque. We examined those markets and remarked that they would constitute the next great crash. When you have these gambling markets on the side that no one quite understands or knows who is participating in them, and which often take place offshore, it seems to me that at the very least there are grounds to hold an inquiry into the effect they are having on market prices through their impact on the shadow market—we should also examine the psychology of the dealers—and on those involved directly in the more regulated market.

One of the great lessons learnt from the events of 2008 was the ineffectiveness of the clearing system for over-the-counter derivatives, which there was no means of settling. That has been one of the major problems for the liquidators of Lehmans. The gambling markets have much the same problem. We are setting up mechanisms—they are being set up internationally—to deal with the settlement of derivatives contracts, but nothing is being done in this parallel market. The noble Lord, Lord Phillips, has made a very useful point, albeit that the hour is late and it is almost 10.40 pm, which may enable this issue to become slightly clearer in terms of understanding what can be done.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, I am grateful to the most reverend Primate and to the noble Lord, Lord McFall. However, I am not so grateful to my noble friend the Minister, as I thought that he rather missed the point. The fact that Tom, Dick and Harry can go down to the betting shop or the local casino, run up a debt and be sued for it has nothing whatever to do with the amendment that I propose tonight. As noble Lords have commented, and as is obvious, we are dealing here with huge sums of our money which are gambled, often to the excessive benefit of the gamblers. We do not know how they function and have not looked carefully and closely, as we should, at the impact of this. I refer not so much to the economic impact, although it may be found that the destabilising effects of this market are greater than we realise, but to the ethical, cultural and social effects. For the life of me, I cannot see why a liberal-minded Government should want to staunch such an investigation. I see no downside to it; it would not be expensive and would be simple to operate. It would all be within the purview of

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the Treasury and it might yield some surprising and valuable results. I therefore hope that the Minister will give this a little further thought, as I am very inclined to bring this back on Report.

Lord Newby: My Lords, I am extremely grateful to my noble friend for clarifying exactly what lies behind his amendment. I am sorry if I in any way misconstrued it. The issues that he raises about the social and broader consequences of some aspects of the “socially useless” parts of the financial services world are obviously important. I am somewhat less certain about whether the kind of inquiry that he is seeking would produce any decisive results.

I wonder whether he may wish to consider between now and Report whether there is another means of achieving the same result because these issues are very much in the public domain. A dry inquiry might not get us to the answer that he wanted. I wonder whether there might be some broader inquiry, bringing together groups of people with expertise and concern, possibly

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moderated by a think tank or charity, to look at some these issues. The membership of such an inquiry would be important in determining the result. Too narrow a membership would tend to produce a series of dry, probably useless, recommendations, whereas a broader group operating in a relaxed and unconstrained manner might produce more wide-ranging and socially useful conclusions.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I am not sure whether I am supposed to say any more to the Minister except, “Thank you”. I thought that at the end he was arguing my case rather better than I was. I will certainly think between now and next time, and talk with him. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 91B withdrawn.

House resumed.

House adjourned at 10.41 pm.