Labour has committed to “devoting as long as it takes” to addressing the “serious failings” in the Financial Services Bill pointed out by the Treasury select committee.
Last week, the TSC published a report detailing criticisms of the bill, including concerns over the governance and accountability of the Bank of England and the objectives and accountability of the Financial Conduct Authority.
It also criticised the fact parts of the bill and significant amendments to it went undebated in the House of Commons because of time limits or did not receive detailed responses from Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban. However, in the Lords there are no time limits.
Speaking during the first debate on the bill in the House of Lords yesterday, Labour’s Treasury spokesman in the upper chamber Lord Eatwell said it is vital the new legislation is effective, adding the committee’s recommendations do not go far enough.
He said: “Last week, noble Lords were no doubt surprised to receive a passionate entreaty from the Treasury committee insisting the bill had been cobbled together with undue haste and had not received adequate consideration [and] in the case of some clauses, no consideration at all, and providing a checklist of serious failings in the legislation as currently drafted. From these benches, I can assure the Treasury committee its despairing plea will not go unanswered.
“We intend to devote just as long as it takes to sort out this flawed Bill and thank goodness that the procedures of this House will allow us to do so.”
He said Labour would bring forward proposals for significant changes to the bill during the committee stage set to get under way later this month.
In a signal of feeling in the Lords over the issue, peers reacted angrily when the Government whip Baroness Garden tried to hurry Lord Lamont during his comments. Lord Lucas said whips had “no business telling us what to do”.