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Financial Services Regulation

Volume 301: debated on Friday 21 November 1997

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the consultations with employees and their representatives on the proposed reforms of financial services regulations; and what estimate he has made of the impact on employment of the reforms. [16908]

Employees of regulated firms and their representatives will have the opportunity to respond to a consultation exercise planned for summer 1998, when the draft bill will be published. Representations before then are very welcome. A modernised system of financial regulation will promote financial stability, a necessary condition for sustainable growth and rising employment.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if the reform of financial services regulation will include all financial products and services, with particular reference to mortgages. [16858]

The Financial Services Authority will acquire the regulatory responsibilities currently exercised by the Bank of England, the three Self-Regulating Organisations (the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation, the Personal Investment Authority and the Securities and Futures Authority), the Department of Trade and Industry Insurance Directorate, the Building Societies Commission, the Friendly Societies Commission and the Registry of Friendly Societies. The Financial Services Authority will also be given responsibility for the authorisation of firms currently authorised to do investment business by virtue of their membership of a Recognised Professional Body.These responsibilities do not currently include regulating the sale of mortgages. The Government will give the Council of Mortgage Lenders an opportunity to demonstrate that their code provides an appropriate level of consumer protection. If it does not, then the Government will act.