Wednesday 13 April 2016
In November 2013, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it would investigate the serious allegations made against RBS’s global restructuring group, regarding the treatment of small and medium-sized business customers.
In a letter from Tracey McDermott—acting chief executive of the FCA—dated 12 April 2016, the FCA states that it has now received the draft final report from Promontory Financial Group, who were appointed by the FCA to undertake the review.
There are a number of important steps to be taken by the FCA before the report is finalised, and the FCA remains committed to completing the review as soon as possible.
I have placed a copy of the FCA’s letter in the House of Commons Library.
National Infrastructure Commission Reports
Today I announce the publication of the Government’s response to three reports by the National Infrastructure Commission on pressing infrastructure challenges facing the country.
“Smart Power”, published on 4 March, sets out a plan to ensure that supply and demand are balanced as efficiently as possible in the energy system, and the Government welcome the report as an opportunity to transform the future of the UK’s electricity sector:
“Transport for a World City”, published on 10 March, sets out priorities for future large-scale investment in London’s public transport infrastructure, and the Government welcome the report as an opportunity to support London’s continued growth through strategic, long-term investment in infrastructure:
“High Speed North”, published on 15 March, is a plan to transform the connectivity of the northern cities, and the Government welcome the report as an opportunity to help drive forward the Northern Powerhouse:
The National Infrastructure Commission was announced in October 2015, to provide expert independent analysis of the long-term infrastructure needs of the country. The commission has been operating in shadow form since then.
At Budget 2016, the Chancellor confirmed that the Government have accepted the commission’s recommendations in its recently published reports. Copies of the documents will be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Government have recently consulted on the structure, governance and operation of the commission, and propose to introduce legislation to put the commission on a statutory footing.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Westminster Foundation for Democracy
I am pleased to announce the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is continuing support for the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). I am also pleased to inform the House that the Secretary of State for International Development has agreed that the Department for International Development (DFID) will also continue to support WFD.
The FCO will provide £3.5 million to WFD in 2016-17 and plans to provide a similar level of funding in 2017-18. DFID will provide up to £6.5 million to WFD over the next two financial years. Continuation of funding will be subject to WFD’s performance.
WFD is uniquely placed to deploy UK parliamentary and party political expertise to help developing democracies. This funding will ensure WFD is able to continue to implement high-quality programmes to strengthen Parliaments and political party structures.
During the estimates day debate on 1 March I said that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had contributed $215,000 to a memorial to the battle of New Orleans, Official Report, column 868. However, this must be corrected, since the FCO has not yet made the donation to the memorial. The FCO has been allocated $215,000 from HM Treasury to support the project, but will disburse the funds only once the project is more advanced and sufficient funds to cover the full cost of the memorial have been secured, beyond those of the existing donors. In addition, I said that the State of Louisiana had made a donation, but it has not done so.