Industry welcomes proposed Financial Services & Markets Bill: Queen's Speech

Outlining the Government's priorities for the year ahead, today's Queen's Speech - delivered to Parliament by Prince Charles - promised changes to financial services regulation.

Related topics:  Regulation
Amy Loddington
10th May 2022
Houses house of parliament commons government govt gov
"The Financial Service Bill provides the opportunity to tailor the UK’s regulatory framework"

The Financial Services Bill aims to strengthen UK financial services to "[continue] to act in the interests of all people and communities".

Revoking EU law on financial services and replacing it with regulation designed specifically for the UK will cut red tape, the Government says, and the Bill includes the aim of updating the objectives of financial services regulators in the UK to "ensure a greater focus on growth and international competitiveness".

The Bill will also introduce additional protections for those investing or using financial products.

Economic secretary to the Treasury, John Glen said:

"We are reforming our financial services sector now we have left the EU to ensure it acts in the interests of communities and citizens, creating jobs, supporting businesses, and powering growth across all of the UK. We know that access to cash is still vital for many people, especially those in vulnerable groups. We promised we would protect it, and through this Bill we are delivering on that promise."

David Postings, chief executive of UK Finance, said:

“We strongly welcome the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the government will bring forward a Financial Services Bill and a further Economic Crime Bill, which we see as two key pieces of legislation for financial services.

“The Financial Service Bill provides the opportunity to tailor the UK’s regulatory framework and so create a more competitive financial services sector post-Brexit, supporting jobs and investment across the country.

“The Economic Crime Bill will be critical in helping to address money laundering and the growth in fraud and scams, which are now the most prevalent type of crime in the UK. This Bill should focus on measures that prevent fraud happening in the first place and provide greater enforcement powers to tackle those who commit economic crime.

“We look forward to working with the government and parliament on the development of the detailed proposals in both Bills.”

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, said:

“The inclusion of the Financial Services Bill, coupled with the Brexit Freedoms Bill, in the Queen’s Speech paves the way for helpful changes to how financial services are regulated and in turn the services firms can offer to customers.

“As we face the cost of living crisis, individuals will need more support than ever to make the most of their finances. Many already benefit from financial advice, but for some this may be disproportionately expensive. Current rules make it very difficult for firms to offer anything between generic information and full regulated advice. As we adjust to a UK outside of the EU, there’s an opportunity to move away from EU regulations and open up new forms of support, allowing the financial services industry to help more people. We’re strongly in favour of regulated firms being able to offer a more personalised form of guidance, which would nudge them in a positive direction, acting in their interest, without recommending any specific product.

“Helping customers with the cost of living squeeze is at the heart of the Government’s agenda. Changing regulations to allow new forms of support in managing finances and financial futures would be a big help here, with the added benefit of having zero cost to Government.”

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