Lord Myners

Crossbench - Life peer

Lord Myners is not a member of any APPGs
Personal Service Companies
12th Nov 2013 - 31st Mar 2014
Works of Art Committee (Lords)
16th May 2012 - 15th May 2013
Privacy and Injunctions (Joint Committee)
18th Jul 2011 - 12th Mar 2012


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Thursday 4th April 2019
Business of the House
voted No
One of 55 Crossbench No votes vs 9 Crossbench Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 122 Noes - 248
Speeches
Thursday 4th April 2019
Business of the House

I do not wish to quote the Prime Minister to embarrass her, but to remind colleagues in the House that …

Written Answers
Thursday 27th May 2021
Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether will release the proposal sent by the Treasury to supply chain financiers to be …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Myners has voted in 0 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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Department Debates
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Legislation Debates
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Commons initiatives

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Lord Myners has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Myners has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Myners has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Myners has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


179 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 29 April (HL15167), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, further to the summary report published by the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists on 26 March following its investigation into Rt Hon David Cameron, whether the Registrar had sight of any contract of employment between Mr Cameron and Greensill companies; and whether (1) any such contracts, or (2) related job descriptions, made any reference to lobbying duties.

As outlined in my response on 29 April, the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists is a statutory independent office holder responsible for maintaining the lobbying register. The Registrar's investigations and decisions must be made independently of the Government.

Details of the Registrar’s investigations are published on the website of the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists at https://registrarofconsultantlobbyists.org.uk and his Office can be contacted at enquiries@orcl.gov.uk.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the summary report published by the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists on 26 March following its investigation into Rt Hon David Cameron, whether the Registrar had sight of any contract of employment between Mr Cameron and Greensill companies; and whether (1) any such contracts, or (2) related job descriptions, made any reference to lobbying duties.

The Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists is a statutory independent office holder responsible for maintaining the lobbying register. The Registrar's investigations and decisions must be made independently of the Government.

Details of the Registrar’s investigations are published on the website of the Office of the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists at https://registrarofconsultantlobbyists.org.uk/, and his Office can be contacted at enquiries@orcl.gov.uk.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) Bill Crothers, or (2) his consultancy company, were employed by the Government on (a) project work, or (b) any other work, after Mr Crothers ceased to be a civil servant.

Cabinet Office does not have records of Bill Crothers working on project work or any other work during the specified time.

With regard to his consultancy company, details of Government contracts above £10,000 should be published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.


I also refer the noble peer to the letters on the ACOBA website relating to business appointments and Mr Crothers.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any records of the Rt Hon David Cameron (1) contacting, or (2) arranging meetings with, (a) ministers, or (b) senior civil servants, over the last three years, in connection with Afiniti Limited.

Ministers and permanent secretaries’ meetings on official government business with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and are made available on GOV.UK.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who was responsible for the appointment of Lex Greensill as a Crown Representative in March 2014, including him being issued a Cabinet Office entry pass; whether Bill Crother's appointment to the UK Board of Greensill Capital was (1) reviewed, and (2) approved, by the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments; and, if so, when.

The Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital. The full terms of reference are set out at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

The review will report to the Prime Minister by 30 June 2021. The Government will publish and present to Parliament the Review’s findings and the Government’s response in due course thereafter.

Correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crothers-bill-government-chief-commercial-officer-cabinet-office-acoba-recommendation.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who nominated Mr Lex Greensill as a Crown Representative in March 2014; whether Mr Greensill continues to hold this status; and if not, (1) when did he cease to be a Crown Representative, and (2) why.

The Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital. The full terms of reference are set out at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

The review will report to the Prime Minister by 30 June 2021. The Government will publish and present to Parliament the Review’s findings and the Government’s response in due course thereafter.

Correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crothers-bill-government-chief-commercial-officer-cabinet-office-acoba-recommendation.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether records held in (1) 10 Downing Street and, (2) the Cabinet Office, record or refer to any conversation since 1 January between David Cameron and ministers or senior civil servants relating to (a) Mr Lex Greensill, (b) Greensill Capital, or (c) Mr Sanjeev Gupta and his businesses; and if so, whether they will place copies of these records in the Library of the House.

The Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital. The full terms of reference are set out at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

The review will report to the Prime Minister by 30 June 2021. The Government will publish and present to Parliament the Review’s findings and the Government’s response in due course thereafter.

Correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crothers-bill-government-chief-commercial-officer-cabinet-office-acoba-recommendation.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what functions Lex Greensill performed as a Crown Representative; how long he held that position; which person or office he reported to; and who was responsible for his appointment to that position.

The Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital. The full terms of reference are set out at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

The review will report to the Prime Minister by 30 June 2021. The Government will publish and present to Parliament the Review’s findings and the Government’s response in due course thereafter.

Correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crothers-bill-government-chief-commercial-officer-cabinet-office-acoba-recommendation.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who will be the members of the Cabinet Committee to be established to review opportunities to reduce red tape linked to the UK's former membership of the EU; what the outputs of this Committee will be; whether they will produce a report on such opportunities; and if so, when any such report will be published.

The Prime Minister has announced that a new Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will be set up to refresh the strategy on making better regulation outside the EU, reviewing existing rules and cutting red tape for businesses.


Membership of Cabinet Committees is regularly published on GOV.UK. It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees, and how often they have met, is not normally shared publicly.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they received advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies about reducing the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic over the Christmas period; and if so, what plans they have to publish that advice.

The government receives regular advice from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, including on the Christmas period. All the advice received on this matter has been published on Gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish any advice or briefings prepared by the civil service on the impact of the provisions of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland relating to state aid.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal briefings are not normally disclosed.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have any reason not to reach an agreement with the EU on state aid which uses the wording and intent evidenced in the free trade agreement reached with Japan.

We want to reach an agreement and believe there is time to do so. We will continue to work hard to achieve it.

In all our trade negotiations, including in our ongoing negotiations with the EU, we consistently make proposals which provide for open and fair competition, on the basis of high standards, in a way which is appropriate to a modern free trade agreement between sovereign and autonomous equals.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to publish the weekly reports on the percentage of full-time employees of each Government department attending the workplace at least once per week; and if not, why not.

Civil servants have continued to work throughout the pandemic to deliver public services and support the Government. There are no plans to centrally publish the information requested.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received the report of the investigation into allegations of bullying of officials by the Home Secretary; and when that report will be published.

To protect the interests of all involved the Government does not comment on the specifics of ongoing process.

The Prime Minister will make any decision on the matter public once the process has concluded.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they are taking to reduce the time taken to pay their subcontractors.

The Government should set a strong example by paying subcontractors promptly. Our commitment is to pay 90% of undisputed and valid invoices from small and medium-sized enterprises within 5 days and 100% of all undisputed and valid invoices within 30 days. Government departments are required to report their performance against these payment targets on a quarterly basis on GOV.UK.

Through the Public Contract Regulations 2015, public sector buyers must include 30-day payment terms in new public sector contracts; and require that this payment term be passed down the supply chain. Since 1 September 2019, suppliers risk being excluded from winning large government contracts if they cannot demonstrate prompt payment.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) whether they will publish the details of the contract between the Department for International Trade and Quintessentially, including the amounts paid to that company in each of the last three years, and (2) whether other Government departments or public bodies have contracts with that company.

Records of Government contracts above £10,000 in central government and £25,000 in the wider public sector are published on Contracts Finder:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

Details of spends over £25,000 are published on gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dit-departmental-spending-over-25000

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 27 April (HL14881), whether they will now answer the question put, namely,  how much they have paid or are obliged to pay Greensill Capital in year one interest payments made under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; what percentage by number and value of such loans extended by Greensill Capital involve higher interest rates than from the average of lenders; and what is the number and value of loans where the interest rate exceeded 14.9 per cent.

Recipients of any Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans made by any lender are entitled to apply for business interruption payments from the Government which cover the interest and any lender-levied fees in the first 12 months of any CBILS facility.

We are unable to provide of a breakdown of CBILS data by lender as this is commercially sensitive for lenders and borrowers. However, data on individual loans will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module, in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 28 April (HL15066), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, how quickly after accreditation Greensill Capital disbursed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme funds.

Greensill Capital were approved by the British Business Bank in June last year to provide finance through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), based on criteria set out in the CBILS “Request for Proposals”.

The British Business Bank is currently undertaking an investigation into Greensill’s lending under the Covid schemes and as such it would not be appropriate to comment on its lending at this time.

While the Bank investigates Greensill’s position, it remains an accredited lender for CBILS, although it has not been able to originate new lending since October 2020.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 29 April (HL15063), what assessment they have made of the impact of the publication by the Bank of England of a Written Submission to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee which refers to its communications with German Financial Regulators in the matter of Greensill Bank and Greensill Capital on the accuracy of the Written Answer.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer I gave him on 29 April 2021 to Question HL15063.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their obligations under the European Commission's State Aid Transparency Award Module, whether they plan to publish details of (1) the identity of borrowers, (2) the amounts advanced, and (3) the date of the advances from Greensill Capital, made under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and if not, why not.

Details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module. Further information can be found on the British Business Bank’s website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Nigel Boardman is the chair of the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and whether that Committee is responsible for overseeing the risk audit and credit functionality at the British Business Bank.

Nigel Boardman is a non-executive board member of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ARAC).

The British Business Bank (BBB) is an operationally independent arm’s length body of Government. As such, and in accordance with the UK Corporate Governance Code, BBB has separate independent Audit and Risk Committees comprising of independent non-executive directors. BBB’s Board is responsible for internal controls and risk management systems in BBB. Through the governance statement in BBB’s Annual Report and Accounts there is a requirement for BBB to provide assurances to the Government and other stakeholders on performance and insight on BBB’s risk profile, the responses to the identified and emerging risks and how risks have been successfully tackled.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how quickly after accreditation Greensill Capital disbursed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme funds.

We are unable to provide information relating to individual borrowers as it is commercially sensitive.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the European Commission's Transparency Aid Module continues to apply to the UK; whether there are any restrictions under (1) the Transparency Aid Module, or (2) agreements with borrowers, which prohibit the immediate announcement of details of all facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and if not, why they continue to withhold this information relating to individual borrowers.

The requirement to publish certain information via the Commission’s Transparency Aid Module continues to apply with respect to aid granted prior to the end of the Transition Period, and in certain other limited circumstances set out in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Our priority is to ensure borrowers are given notice before information about their loans is shared with the European Commission and we are working with lenders and the British Business Bank to facilitate this. A rolling programme of reporting will then publish details of aid granted within the preceding 12 months where required.

Further information can be found on the British Business Bank’s website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they have paid or are obliged to pay Greensill Capital in year one interest payments made under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; what percentage by number and value of such loans extended by Greensill Capital involve higher interest rates than from the average of lenders; and what is the number and value of loans where the interest rate exceeded 14.9 per cent.

Recipients of any Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans made by any lender are entitled to apply for business interruption payments from the Government which cover the interest and any lender-levied fees in the first 12 months of any CBILS facility.

We are unable to provide of a breakdown of CBILS data by lender as this is commercially sensitive. However, data on individual loans will be published, where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module, in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many loans under the (1) Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and (2) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, have had government guarantees removed; how many Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme accredited lenders have been involved in making such loans; what is the number and value of loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that fell outside delegated authority; how many accredited lenders were involved; and whether they will publish the names of such lenders.

All accredited lenders are subject to audit by the British Business Bank (the Bank) to ensure their compliance with scheme rules. If serious non-compliance is identified, the Bank is entitled to take remedial action. Such action might include termination of the Guarantee Agreement or withdrawal of the Guarantee.

It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases given commercial sensitivities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they assessed the capacity of Greensill Capital to absorb its share of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan losses alongside the government's guarantee.

At the point of accreditation and based on the information provided, the British Business Bank considered that Greensill Capital UK met the criteria set out in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) Request for Proposals.

The criteria by which decisions were made, were set out in the CBILS Request for Proposals, as a publicly available document. Among the minimum requirements for accreditation was the ability of a lender to demonstrate that it had sufficient capital available to meet its lending forecasts.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the British Business Bank had any communication with the Rt Hon David Cameron on the decision to accredit Greensill Capital as a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lender; what form any communication took; whether Mr Cameron was mentioned in Grensill Capital's (1) formal application, or (2) oral discussion, around their application; and whether the British Business Bank consulted (a) Her Majesty's Treasury, (b) the Financial Conduct Authority, or (c) the Prudential Regulation Authority, on the decision to grant lender status.

From our records, there is no indication that David Cameron approached the British Business Bank on behalf of Greensill Capital, and we are not aware of any such approach being made.

We cannot comment on the content of lenders’ applications to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme schemes as they are commercially sensitive.

None of HM Treasury, BEIS, the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority had a role in the British Business Bank’s decision to accredit Greensill Capital.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many accredited providers of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme were not regulated lenders; and whether they will publish the names of such providers.

Details of lenders accredited to deliver the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme were published on the British Business Bank’s website while the scheme was in operation.

Providing a list would incur a disproportionate cost to the Department. Each lender’s regulatory status is available on the relevant regulator’s website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will reopen the British Business Bank's investigation of loans made by Greensill Capital, including disclosure around the (1) issuing, (2) funding, and (3) distribution, of such loans; and whether any of the findings of the original investigation were known before Greensill Capital was granted accredited lender status.

The investigation into Greensill Capital’s compliance with the terms of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme is currently ongoing.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will disclose the names of (1) borrowers, and (2) amounts borrowed, under (a) the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and (b) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Details of facilities made available under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government to which entities owned by Sanjeev Gupta did the British Business Bank extend the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; who was responsible for (1) credit assessment, and (2) due diligence; and from which accounts were any loans issued.

We are unable to provide information relating to individual borrowers as it is commercially sensitive. However, details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

CBILS facilities are delivered through the British Business Bank’s accredited lenders, who are responsible for making credit decisions in accordance with the scheme’s rules.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why Greensill Capital remains listed on the British Business Bank website as an accredited lender.

The British Business Bank is tasked with administering the Covid-19 debt guarantee schemes to ensure compliance with its terms. The details of its compliance activity with individual lenders is a commercially sensitive matter.

While the Bank looks into Greensill’s position it is not able to originate new lending that benefits from a Government guarantee.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 17 December 2020 (HL11087), what assessment they have made of whether it would now be a good use of public resources to publish the names of those firms borrowing under Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) when, and (2) for what reasons, they withdrew Greensill Capital’s approval as a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lender.

The British Business Bank is tasked with administering the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to ensure compliance with its terms. The details of its compliance activity with individual lenders is a commercially sensitive matter.

While the Bank looks into Greensill’s position, it is not able to originate new lending that benefits from a Government guarantee.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which government department was responsible for approving Greensill Capital as a lender under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and whether in making this decision they took advice from any other government department or regulatory agency.

The British Business Bank is responsible for accrediting lenders to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Greensill Capital (UK) Limited were approved by the British Business Bank for CBILS and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme last year in accordance with its published guidance on accreditation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 17 December 2020 (HL 11087), whether they continue to believe that it would not be the best use of public resources to publish the names of firms borrowing under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which government agency was responsible for monitoring the activities of Greensill Capital under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and whether in their monitoring duties they involved or sought advice from any other government department or regulatory agency.

All accredited lenders across the three Covid-19 loan schemes (the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme) are subject to audit by the British Business Bank to ensure their compliance with scheme rules. The British Business Bank has appointed KPMG and RSM to undertake annual audits of each accredited lender under the schemes.

The audit programme has been established to provide assurance as to whether the participating lenders are administering the schemes in line with guarantee agreements entered into with lenders, as well as other agreed rules and procedures of the schemes. An audit review panel within the British Business Bank has been established as the governing body that provides direction and subsequent actions based on findings from the audits. The panel’s responsibilities include reviewing all draft audit reports to determine remediation actions required by lenders. The panel also monitors auditor performance and agrees the strategy for the following year with respect to operational audits.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) value, and (2) number, of Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans made through Greensill Capital or its subsidiaries and associates; what is the (a) value, and (b) number, which were at annual interest rates of 14.9 per cent or higher; and what the reasons are for Greensill having now been withdrawn from the list of government approved lenders.

Greensill Capital were approved by the British Business Bank (the Bank) in June last year to provide finance through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). All accredited lenders are subject to audit by the Bank to ensure their compliance with scheme rules. If serious non-compliance is identified, the Bank is entitled to take remedial action. Such action might include termination of the Guarantee Agreement or withdrawal of the Guarantee. It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases given commercial sensitivities.

We are unable to provide of a breakdown of CLBILS data by lender as this is commercially sensitive.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total value of loans extended under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme where the annual rate of interest exceeds 14.99 per cent; and what is the highest rate of interest at which a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan has been made.

Interest rates are set by lenders under the scheme. The British Business Bank and BEIS do not approve individual commercial terms. Some delivery partners accredited before the 14.99 per cent maximum rate of interest was in place can issue CBILS facilities with interest rates above 14.99 per cent.

Facilities worth a total of £19.64 billion have been offered under CBILS. The total value of loans offered under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) where the annual rate of interest exceeds 14.99 per cent is £35,364,874. The highest individual interest rate for a loan offered under the scheme is 34.9 per cent (all figures correct as of 17 December 2020).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 November (HL9859), which Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan lenders have charged interest rates of more than 14.99 per cent per annum; and what is the total value of such loans.

Interest rates are set by lenders under the scheme. The British Business Bank and BEIS do not approve individual commercial terms. Some delivery partners accredited before the 14.99 per cent maximum rate of interest was in place can issue Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facilities with interest rates above 14.99 per cent. We are unable to provide a breakdown by lender as this data is commercially sensitive.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 November (HL9859), whether any lenders charging 14.99 per cent per annum or more for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans also charged arrangement fees of more than 3 per cent per annum.

Interest rates are set by lenders under the scheme. The British Business Bank and BEIS do not approve individual commercial terms. Some delivery partners accredited before the 14.99 per cent maximum rate of interest was in place can issue Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) facilities with interest rates above 14.99 per cent. We are unable to provide a breakdown by lender as this data is commercially sensitive.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what value of loans extended by Greensill under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme had annual rates of interest of more than 10 per cent per annum; and what proportion of Greensill loans within the Scheme involved an arrangement fee of 3 per cent per annum.

We are unable to provide of a breakdown of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme data by lender as this is commercially sensitive.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan (HL9789) on 12 November, who is responsible for collating and acting on information concerning recipients of loans taken out under (1) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and (2) the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Lenders accredited to deliver the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme are responsible for collecting data concerning recipients of loans. This data is collated by systems managed by the British Business Bank.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 2 December (HL9789), what assessment they have made of the case for publishing the names of those firms borrowing under Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme to facilitate identification of fraud; and why they are delaying publication of this information until it is made available on the European Commission's Transparency Aid Module.

Given the necessary preparation and administration involved in publishing the information, we consider that the best use of public resources would be directed to pulling this information together to meet our existing obligations.

We continue to work across Departments, and with lenders and law enforcement agencies, to tackle fraudulent abuse of the schemes.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish reports by the Insolvency Service into the collapse of the Arcadia Group.

After a company enters administration, the administrators have three months to report to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State on the conduct of the directors. The Insolvency Service will review the administrators’ report into Arcadia to consider whether further steps, such as conducting a detailed investigation, may be necessary. The Secretary of State has written to the Insolvency Service to request that they review the report from the administrators rigorously and expeditiously as soon as they receive it.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they accredited Greensill to make loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; how much has been lent by Greensill through that Scheme so far; and which Government department or entity is responsible for maintaining loans by Greensill under that Scheme to related entities and groups.

Greensill Capital is not a Bounce Back Loan Scheme accredited lender. A full list of accredited lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 12 November (HL9789), whether they will identify (1) the number, and (2) the value, of loans taken out under (a) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and (b) the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, in instances where a former Minister was, or is, (i) a director, (ii) an advisor, or (iii) a consultant, associated with the borrower.

The Department does not hold this information.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 12 November (HL9789), when they will publish the details of individual aid awards under (1) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and (2) the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

We intend to publish this information where required within the deadlines required by the European Commission.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their announcement that they have secured five million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, whether that contract has any conditions relating (1) to the number of doses, and (2) to the date of delivery; and whether there are any material conditions that could affect availability of that vaccine.

We are not able to disclose details of this agreement because of the commercially confidential nature of the contracts between the Government and vaccine manufacturers while commercial negotiations are ongoing.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total value of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans that (1) have interest rates set at the maximum permitted rate of 14.99 per cent per annum, (2) have interest rates set at 10.00 per cent per annum or more, and (3) have arrangement fees of more than 3.00 per cent per annum; and whether they meet or guarantee to the lending institutions all or part of these rates for the time the loan is outstanding.

The interest rate charged on a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILS) facility varies in line with the lender’s own policies, as would be the case with any commercial facility.

(1) The total value of drawn down CBILS facilities where interest is set at 14.99 per cent or higher[1] per annum is £15,391,560.

(2) The total value of drawn down CBILS facilities where interest is set at 10.00 per cent or higher is £183,522,119.

(3) The total value of drawn down CBILS facilities with arrangement fees greater than or equal to 3.00 per cent per annum is £323,923,395.

All figures correct as of 30 September 2020.

The Government cover the first 12 months of interest payments and lender-levied charges on behalf of CBILS borrowers. The Guarantee covers lenders for the principal only.

[1] Some delivery partners accredited before the 14.99% maximum was in place can issue CBILS facilities with interest rates above 14.99%.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether Greensill Capital has extended Bounce Back Loans to companies that are part of, or associated with, the GFG Alliance; and whether these loans complied with the eligibility criteria set by the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Greensill Capital is not a Bounce Back Loan Scheme accredited lender. A full list of accredited lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 17 September (HL7806), whether they have reconsidered their decision to not publish the identity of recipients of loans taken out under (1) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and (2) the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; and on what grounds, if any, they have reconsidered.

Details of individual aid awards under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 17 September (HL7806), when they expect to publish the identity of recipients of loans taken out under (1) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and (2) the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; and under what conditions they would publish such information.

Details of individual aid awards under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any loans from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme have been made to members of the Quintessentially Group.

Details of awards under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the recovery of loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme considered fraudulent is the responsibility of lending banks or the Government.

Lenders are expected to pursue appropriate recovery processes including in relation to fraudulently obtained loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, in line with their existing standards. The Government will be providing further guidance to lenders on this.

The Government will also consider other appropriate mechanisms to recover fraudulently obtained funds as required.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they received, if any, from officials on (1) the percentage by number, and (2) the value, of loans received under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme estimated to be fraudulent.

As part of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme application process lenders undertake fraud checks, including Know Your Customer and Anti Money-Laundering checks as required. In addition, the application form is clear – any individual who knowingly provides false information is at risk of criminal prosecution. We are working across Departments, and with lenders and law enforcement agencies, to tackle fraudulent abuse of the scheme.

Details of how we expect BBLS to perform are set out in our accounts for 2019-20, a copy of which has been placed in the Libraries of the House. At this early stage, such estimates are naturally highly uncertain as reflected in the explanatory notes of the Accounts.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, if any, to identify fraudulent applications under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; and what advice they took from banks or specialist advisors on identifying fraudulent applications.

The Government takes the threat of fraud very seriously and a range of measures have been put in place to mitigate fraud and error risk for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. These include data and intelligence sharing arrangements, enabling us to work with lenders, law enforcement bodies and others to identify fraud.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to publish the names of the recipients of loans made under (1) the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and (2) the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; and if not, why not.

There are currently no plans to publish the recipient data on who has taken out loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme or Bounce Back Loan Scheme. This is on the grounds that the release of information regarding SME beneficiaries could reveal information on their financial standing and may therefore damage their commercial interests. Information on lending is also commercially sensitive for lenders who deliver the schemes on behalf of Government. Provision for withholding this information is contained within S43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Additionally, some company names may reveal the names of individuals if they are sole traders, where the company name is their actual name/part of their name. This is classed as personal data which is exempt under S40(2) personal data under FOIA.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to investigate the actions of JD Sports in relation to its decision to place its wholly owned subsidiary Go Outdoors into administration and then subsequently to reacquire that company from the administrators in a pre-pack deal without creditor liability.

Insolvency Practitioners appointed in an administration must report to the Insolvency Service on the conduct of an insolvent company’s directors within three months of the beginning of the insolvency. Where the Insolvency Service identifies evidence of misconduct an investigation will be undertaken where it is in the public interest to do so. Outcomes may include director disqualification or criminal prosecution where there is evidence of serious wrongdoing.

In a pre-pack administration, the appointed Insolvency Practitioner is under a duty to achieve the best result for the company’s creditors as a whole. There is a regulatory requirement to provide a statement to creditors explaining why a pre-pack sale was undertaken, what marketing was done, what valuations were obtained and any alternative options considered. This statement is also sent to the Insolvency Practitioner’s authorising body which monitors to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements.

Where creditors are dissatisfied with the actions or decisions of an Insolvency Practitioner in relation to a pre-pack, they can raise the matter directly with the practitioner’s regulatory body.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce an equivalent of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 in the UK; and what assessment they have made of whether any such legislation would (1) increase confidence in company accounts, and (2) reduce fraud.

The Independent Review of the Financial Reporting Council recommended that government should consider the case for adopting a strengthened framework around internal controls on a similar basis to the Sarbanes-Oxley regime in the US. In response, the Government is exploring options in this area and will bring forward a detailed consultation in due course.

The Review heard that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in 2002, has led to better financial reporting, with a lower incidence of significant accounting re-statements, but also recognised the higher costs for companies. Any strengthening of the UK regime would need to take account of the UK’s well-established internal control framework comprising interlocking company law requirements, Listing Rules, UK Corporate Governance Code provisions and auditor responsibilities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the remit and powers of the Competition and Markets Authority further to the statements made in the Chairman’s resignation announcement.

The Government is committed to ensuring that markets work well for consumers and businesses and keeps the remit and powers of the Competition and Markets Authority under constant review.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what risk assumptions they will use in the pricing of reinsurance offered to trade credit insurers; and what commitments they have obtained from these insurers to maintain cover.

The Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme operates as a reinsurance agreement which will see trade credit insurers continuing to write and maintain cover to businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The cost to insurers of participating in the scheme is ceding 90% of their premium income to Government, with 35% returned to cover their costs. The retention of 10% income by insurers ensures alignment of incentives so that underwriting standards and pricing approaches are maintained in line with normal market conditions. Losses are also being shared with Government taking 90% and insurers 10%, up to a £3 billion cap. Losses between £3 billion and £10 billion will be 100% covered by Government. Insurers will offset the 10% of premium they retain against their share of the losses.

The Scheme will see the vast majority of TCI cover maintained in the market. The reinsurance agreement requires insurers to maintain cover where there are reasonably identifiable Covid-19 related economic impacts on an in-scoped insured. Where there are no identifiable Covid-19 related economic impacts, participating insurers will continue to act according to their existing underwriting practices. BEIS’s delivery partner will have oversight of insurers throughout the scheme and monitor their behaviour to ensure that underwriting standards and prices are maintained.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the names of the members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies; and what assessment they have made of the impact of any such publication on public confidence in that group.

SAGE is not a membership body. Her Majesty's Government does not routinely publish the names of SAGE participants in line with advice from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure and standard procedure for COBR meetings, to which SAGE gives advice. For the COVID-19 response and to ensure transparency on who is contributing to the science advice being given to the Government, we have published the names of those who are happy to have their names published.

The names that have been published are available on the SAGE page on GOV.UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 26 February (HL1607), whether the British Business Bank's aggregate loan experience and losses in the event of default of loans as a result of loans made through peer-to-peer platforms differs from the aggregate experience of loans made by other channels to SME borrowers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the value of new loans extended by the British Business Bank sourced through peer-to-peer lending platforms has (1) increased, or (2) decreased, over the last three completed financial years; and what percentage of such loans were to borrowers who had already received funding from the British Business Bank.

The British Business Bank’s participation in peer-to-peer lending platforms has been primarily through the Bank’s commercial subsidiary British Business Investments. Data collected across programmes and delivery partners is consolidated on a programme-by-programme basis.

The value of new loans extended by the British Business Bank sourced through peer-to-peer lending platforms has increased year-on-year over the last three completed financial years.

Over the three year period, of the 15,420 distinct SME customers that have received financing through the peer-to-peer delivery partners of British Business Investments, 9.36% have been to repeat peer-to-peer customers[1]. The Bank does not hold data on how many peer-to-peer customers may previously have benefitted from other British Business Bank programmes.

[1] This data excludes finance through Market Invoice as a single customer could have multiple invoices funded through the platform at a time.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether default rates, and losses in event of default, experienced by the British Business Bank on loans sourced through peer-to-peer lending platforms have been (1) greater or lesser than for the British Business Bank’s overall lending book, and (2) greater or lesser than the British Business Bank’s expectation when extending loans through such platforms.

The British Business Bank’s participation in peer-to-peer lending platforms has been primarily through the Bank’s commercial subsidiary British Business Investments. Data collected across the Bank’s programmes and delivery partners is consolidated on a programme-by-programme basis. The Bank does not record an overall rate of default given the wide range of delivery partners and products across the Bank’s programmes that are not directly comparable.

British Business Investments monitors existing delivery partners and their performance against contractual requirements, which includes monitoring the level of defaults, provisions, impairments[1] and write-offs observed through the life of each investment.

The level of default rates observed on the portfolio of loans generated through the peer-to-peer lending platforms have varied over the life of the investments to date, at times being below and at times being above the initial expected rate at the time of investment. Provisions are raised for defaulted loans but the actual level of losses associated with these defaults will be dependent on the level of recoveries achieved through the life of the investments as not all defaults will result in crystallised losses.

The level of losses provided for as a percentage of the net amount invested across the peer-to-peer platforms loan portfolio, is above the overall blended level[2] for the British Business Investments’ portfolio. This is as expected given the different risk profile and structure of the investments across the portfolio, all of which have been assessed within the Bank’s objectives and programme criteria.

Overall returns from investments through the peer-to-peer platforms have been positive and the Bank has not experienced any negative returns from the peer-to-peer platform investments liquidated to date.

[1] An impairment is an adjustment applied by a fund manager where a performance issue has been identified within a specific investment and are therefore included in the Net Asset Value submitted to the Bank.

[2] This includes the level of defaults, provisions, impairments and write-offs provided by peer-to-peer and non-peer-to-peer delivery partners.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) report by the Institute of Accountants in England and Wales into the insolvency of Comet Group and the losses sustained by HMRC, published on 31 January, and (2) implications, if any, for the (a) collapse of Monarch Airline, and (b) request for governmental financial support from Flybe and its immediate and ultimate owners.

The Government is aware of the findings of the investigation by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) into the conduct of the administrators of Comet Group Limited and the resulting consent order setting out the disciplinary action taken. The Government supports the aims of the regulatory framework for insolvency practitioners and the Government’s Insolvency Service works closely with the Recognised Professional Bodies, such as the ICAEW, in ensuring appropriate action is taken when needed following an insolvency. Regarding Flybe, it would not be appropriate for Government to comment on the speculation as to its financial affairs.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the British Business Bank lent through peer-to-peer lending platforms in each of the last two financial years; and whether the British Business Bank continues to provide loans to new borrowers through peer-to-peer platforms or whether loans are now confined to supporting previous borrowers sourced through peer-to-peer platforms.

The British Business Bank does not lend directly to SMEs. The Bank’s total exposure through peer-to-peer delivery partners was:

· £101.3m at 30 September 2019 (the latest data available), and

· £102.9m at 31 March 2019.

The Bank’s exposure contributes to loans to SMEs. In combination with other funders, the new loans it supported through peer-to-peer platforms were as follows:

· £268.7m of new finance to 2,738 SMEs in the six months to 30 September 2019 (the latest data available), and

· £705.4m of new finance to 7,794 SMEs in Financial Year 2018/19.

The Bank’s exposure to peer-to-peer delivery partners continues to provide finance to new SME borrowers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 28 January (HL579), whether the confidentiality agreements cover the aggregation of data for a number of unidentified peer-to-peer platforms; whether the same wording is included in all agreements with peer-to-peer platforms; and whether this wording is proposed by the Government or the peer-to-peer lender.

Confidentiality agreements between the British Business Bank and peer-to-peer lenders do not deal with aggregated data relating to multiple different platforms. The British Business Bank does not aggregate peer-to-peer data from different platforms for reporting purposes. Given the very small number of peer-to-peer platforms we invest in, we could not publish aggregate default rates without compromising confidentiality in relation to individual platforms. In keeping with our commercial approach, we do however continually monitor the market and carry out extensive due diligence on any peer-to-peer lender before entering any commercial agreement with them. Once an arrangement is in place, we receive regular data on the performance of our loan book to ensure that this is in line with the contractual expectations we have made with them.

Different confidentiality agreements between the Bank and peer-to-peer delivery partners do not contain the same wording. The wording of each individual agreement is agreed jointly by the British Business Bank and the individual peer-to-peer lender, but they reflect delivery partner expectations, as is standard in the market.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to address the regional disparities in small business lending, as reported in The Times on 21 January.

The Government is committed to levelling up across the whole country so that businesses can access the funding they need to thrive wherever they are.

The British Business Bank (BBB) is a government-owned economic development bank which helps to drive economic growth by making finance markets work better for small businesses, enabling them to prosper and grow. Since BBB was established in 2014, it has supported over £7 billion of finance to over 91,000 SMEs across the UK (as at June 2019) and continues to grow. The stock of finance supported by the bank grew by 31% year on year (from June 2018 to June 2019).

BBB’s Start Up Loans programme has so far provided 69,201 loans worth over £558m to small businesses (at end-December 2019) and has delivered loans in every parliamentary constituency in the UK.

BBB has introduced specific funds and activities to help address regional disparities in access to finance, which are having an increasingly significant impact. These have equity and debt finance components, with the balance of debt to equity set according to the specific needs of the businesses in those regions.

The funds include:

  • The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) which has invested over £140m of an overall £400m fund in over 500 ambitious SMEs across the Northern Powerhouse region, in deals that have attracted an additional £140m of investment from the private sector (as of Nov 2019). £80.6m of NPIF so far has been made in debt finance to 474 businesses;
  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) which has invested over £48 million of an overall £250m fund in over 200 businesses, in deals that have attracted an additional £27m of investment from the private sector (as of Nov 2019). £23.9m of MEIF so far has been in debt finance to 177 businesses.

For equity investment, the BBB also has a £100m Regional Angels Programme, which is designed to help reduce regional imbalances in access to early stage equity finance for smaller businesses across the UK (launched in October 2018 by British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank). In September 2019, the first £10m commitment through the programme was made to one of the largest business angel networks in the North of England which primarily operates in the North West, Yorkshire and the North East with more commitments to be announced in the coming year.

The UK Network, established in early 2019 by the British Business Bank is a UK-wide network of relationship managers which will continue to enhance and further build BBB’s relationships with key SME access to finance stakeholders across the UK and thereby help tackle regional imbalances in access to finance, including for smaller businesses seeking debt finance at all stages of their development.

20th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Duncan of Springbank on 28 October 2019 (HL48), whether the decision to classify the default rate of loans made by the British Business Bank via peer-to-peer platforms as commercially sensitive information was to protect (1) the British Business Bank, or (2) the identify of borrowers; and if it was to protect the identity of borrowers, whether they will publish the aggregate value of (a) defaulted, and (b) provisional, loans through peer-to-peer platforms for each of the last three financial years.

Data provided to the British Business Bank (BBB) by its delivery partners to meet portfolio monitoring and reporting requirements remains commercially sensitive to the delivery partners and as such is governed by confidentiality agreements. An individual delivery partner may choose to publish data on the overall performance of their loan book, which may include but will not be limited to BBB backed investments. A list of BBB’s delivery partners can be found on their website.

The BBB’s Annual Report and Accounts (“Enabling Small Businesses to Grow and Prosper”) includes information on the BBB’s overall performance and is available on the website

26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Prime Minister met representatives of any of the football clubs that proposed to establish the European Super League in the last month; and if so, whether the proposal was discussed.

I refer the Noble Lord to the Prime Minister’s answer to Written Question 187255 answered on 29th April, and to his answer to the Hon Member for Luton South (Rachel Hopkins) at Prime Minister’s Questions on 28 April (column 376).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel will meet; and when it is expected to complete its work.

The Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel was established on 10 November 2020. As of 9 March 2021, it has met on two occasions.

There is no fixed end-date for the Advisory Panel’s work, but the Department’s expectation is that it will meet a total of 6 times over the course of a year.

Further information about the Advisory Panel is available from GOV.UK (please see attached).

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2020
ARM
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to instruct the Competition and Markets Authority to review NVIDIA's acquisition of Arm.

The Enterprise Act 2002 allows the government to call in transactions. We will consider if and when it would be appropriate to do so.

We will be scrutinising the deal carefully to understand its impact on the UK.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Sep 2020
ARM
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will require NVIDIA to grant them the same powers that will be held by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States in connection with the future ownership of Arm if that company is acquired by NVIDIA.

The Enterprise Act 2002 allows the government to call in transactions. We will consider if and when it would be appropriate to do so.

We will be scrutinising the deal carefully to understand its impact on the UK.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to investigate the English Football League’s role in (1) approving the recent takeover of Wigan Athletic, and (2) the subsequent placement of that club into administration.

Football clubs are the heart of local communities, they have unique social value and many with a great history. It is vital they are protected.

The full details behind why Wigan Athletic has entered administration are still being established, and we will continue to engage with the English Football League (EFL) to fully understand the facts of the case. We welcome the announcement of the administrators that they will be exploring how the club ended up in this situation so soon after changing owners.

The Government has committed to a review of football governance, which will include consideration of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are to use WhatsApp to alert members of the House about votes taking place using the remote voting system.

The Remote Voting system currently alerts Members of the House of Lords to a Division via text message (if they have opted in and provided a mobile number) and email to their Parliamentary account using Notify, which is a secure government service. Members have the option of adding an alternative email address. Notify complies with the National Cyber Security Centre's Cloud Security Principles, and is protected with encryption and secure tokens.

There are no plans to accredit any further tools or apps and develop the remote voting system to use them as notification tools. A greater number of elements within the notification system would introduce an undesirable level of complexity and increase the risk of faults.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to announce details of the apprenticeship guarantee announced by the Prime Minister on 2 June; and what arrangements have been made with employers to ensure every young person in Britain will be guaranteed an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeships will have an important role to play in creating employment opportunities, particularly for young people, and in supporting employers in all sectors to access the skilled workforce that they need to recover and grow, following the COVID-19 outbreak.

We are looking to support employers of all sizes, and particularly smaller businesses to take on new apprentices this year. We will set out further details in due course. We will also ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses that want to take on an apprentice this year.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Charity Commission about any investigation of the governance of Christ Church College, University of Oxford.

There have been no discussions. Registered higher education (HE) providers’ governance arrangements are matters for the Office for Students (OfS) – the independent regulator of higher education in England. The OfS requires all registered providers to meet the public interest governance principles, and if providers fall short the OfS has powers to intervene.

All HE providers, whether registered or not, are autonomous and self-regulating, and the government can only intervene where statute allows.

Baroness Berridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to apply to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

Pursuing potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a priority for the HM Government and is a key part of our trade negotiations programme. We have engaged with all eleven member countries, at both ministerial and official level. Most recently, on 9th September 2020, my Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade addressed a United Kingdom-CPTPP Senior Officials’ meeting and all CPTPP members have welcomed our interest in accession. Prior to that, on 10th July 2020, the Secretary of State convened Heads of Mission from all CPTPP countries to discuss the United Kingdom’s potential accession. We will continue to engage all members as we consider our application, an approach that aligns with the accession process for new CPTPP members, which encourages countries to engage informally with every CPTPP member.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what agreement they have reached with Tony Abbott in relation to expenses, including (1) travel, (2) accommodation, and (3) support, in connection with his role at the Board of Trade.

All Board of Trade appointments are voluntary, unpaid roles. In line with departmental policy, the Department for International Trade will reimburse all reasonable expenses (including travel, subsistence and other expenses) properly and necessarily incurred in respect of Board of Trade appointments. All travel and hotel bookings are signed off by department officials in line with departmental policy.

Attendance at Board of Trade meetings may also be via online platforms.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what remuneration package they have proposed to Tony Abbott in connection with his proposed membership of the Board of Trade.

Membership of the Board, and the role of Adviser to the Board, is not paid. Members may have their reasonable travel costs reimbursed following each meeting. All expenses which are incurred will be published on GOV.UK.

Lord Grimstone of Boscobel
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether contracts between Quintissentially and (1) the Department for International Trade, and (2) any other Government department or agency, required details of the people who received goods and services under the contracts; and whether any goods or services were specifically excluded from those contracts.

The Department for International Trade always requires the details of the people receiving the goods and services delivered through the Quintessentially contract. The goods and services supplied under the contract are provided in the contract schedule which are published on Contracts Finder. Contracts Finder is a Government website which is used for the publication of contract opportunities and contract awards. It is Government policy to publish all contracts over £10,000 further details of Contracts Finder and of the Quintessentially contract may be found here: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice0ccf6274-6878-4ad0a106-94a723595cbb.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the names of the foreign investors introduced to the Department of International Trade by Quintessentially; and what venues were used for such introductions.

The Department for International Trade meets multiple foreign investors on a weekly basis. Our investors seek the ability to pursue and implement their investment strategy confidentially. We work within GDPR guidelines and respect the commercially sensitive nature of our work.

We use Government venues for meetings and engagements wherever possible to showcase the UK’s heritage and ensure value for money. We also seek to secure partnerships and sponsorship to ensure public expenditure is minimised.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last communicated with Greybull Capital and Petrol Jersey Limited about the repayment of the costs to taxpayers of repatriating UK passengers of Monarch Airlines when that airline collapsed.

Greybull Capital is not itself a shareholder in Monarch Airlines but it does perform an advisory and management role for the principal shareholder, Petrol Jersey Limited. There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers.

Marc Meyohas, partner at Greybull, wrote to the Transport Select Committee on 24 October 2017 acknowledging a moral obligation (if they make a profit) to contribute and help to defray the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch customers.

The extent of any profit or loss from Greybull Capital and Petrol Jersey Limited’s investment in Monarch Airlines will depend on the outcome of the administration process, which is not due to conclude until October 2020. Until then, we will not be able to confirm the final total that the Department has recouped.

Discussions with Greybull in relation to recovering the costs of the repatriation operation have been in writing. Ministers last wrote to Greybull on this matter on 5 December 2018.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how frequently they intend to update the list of countries exempt from the UK COVID-19 travel quarantine rules; what (1) criteria, and (2) data, will be used to inform such decisions; whether the implementation of changes to the list of exempt countries will be subject to a notice period; and if so, what will be the length of any such notice period.

The Secretary of State for Transport made a Written Ministerial Statement on travel corridors on 6 July 2020 setting out the criteria and data that the Government has used when making decisions on travel corridors.

The Health Regulations relating to the self-isolation requirements remain under constant review and are updated as required. Public health remains our top priority, and we will not hesitate to remove countries and territories from the list urgently if the health risks are seen to increase such that there is a risk to the UK public’s health from arrivals from these countries or territories.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many commercial passenger flights have landed in the UK over the last two weeks from (1) China, (2) Iran, (3) Italy, and (4) Spain.

The Department for Transport does not currently hold official statistics on the number of commercial passenger flights that have landed in the UK over the last two weeks. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) collects data relating to the movements of commercial flights occurring at UK airports, and this data is received from UK airports up to two months after the end of each month in adherence to statistical regulation (EC) 437/2003 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of passengers, freight and mail by air.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to ask the Pensions Regulator to investigate (1) the competence, (2) the conduct, and (3) the decisions, of the trustees of the various Arcadia pensions schemes.

The Pensions Regulator is an independent body. The Honorable Lord can refer back to the statement made by the Secretary of State for BEIS in December. The Pensions Regulator has a range of powers to protect pension schemes, and it works closely with other organisations who are addressing the Arcadia business. The Pension Schemes Bill currently progressing through Parliament includes measures to enhance these powers and includes improvements to assist with investigations.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Social Market Foundation's proposal in Investing in Britain's future: Financing and funding infrastructure after the Coronavirus crisis, published on 15 June, to create pension superfunds to invest in infrastructure and support economic recovery; and when they expect to report on progress made in pension fund consolidation, after consultation with relevant stakeholders.

On 18 June, The Pensions Regulator published its interim regime for Defined Benefit pension superfunds, which is effective immediately. This is a significant step in progressing this policy area which has the potential to benefit employers, savers and wider society.

The government recognises the potential large superfunds have to deploy significant capital in the investment markets that could benefit the wider economy. We expect superfunds will operate a well-diversified portfolio which may include investment in suitable infrastructure projects where the long term nature of returns are suited to long term pension liabilities.

A written statement on this subject has now been published and a copy is attached.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Ministers or senior officials at the Department for Work and Pensions have had meetings in the last 3 months with the trustees, scheme sponsors or advisers to Arcadia Group pension schemes in respect of funding and funding commitments supporting these schemes.

There have been no meetings between Ministers or senior officials at the Department for Work and Pensions and trustees, scheme sponsors or advisers to the Arcadia Group pension schemes in respect of funding and funding commitments supporting these schemes.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a daily report of the number of people who have received a COVID-19 vaccination in each 24 hour period.

The Government publishes daily data on the number of people who have received a vaccination, first and second dose, on the National Health Service online COVID-19 vaccinations dashboard.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have procured any refrigeration devices for GP surgeries to support the administration of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for which they have placed purchase orders.

National preparations for storage of COVID-19 vaccines at the required temperatures continue to be made by Public Health England to support a national COVID-19 vaccination programme.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to ensure that appropriate freezer and refrigeration capacity is in place to maintain the required cold-chain for COVID-19 vaccination deployment across England. NHS England and NHS Improvement are using the latest available COVID-19 vaccination characteristic and supply information to model the required cold chain capacity and working with suppliers to secure additional freezers and fridges as needed. NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken early steps, and are continuing to work to secure these resources, recognising the likely global competing demand for items.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what R rate for COVID-19 a Tier 3 area has to reach, and (2) for how long, before it is lowered to Tier 2.

Decisions on tier allocation did not focus specifically on the ‘R’ rate. These decisions are based on five key indicators; case detection rates in all age groups; case detection rates in the over 60 year olds; the rate at which cases are rising or falling; the positivity rate or the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken; and pressures on the National Health Service.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish (1) the terms of reference, (2) leadership and personnel, and (3) the outcome of deliberations, of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC); what assessment they have made of the impact on public trust in the decisions of the JBC of publishing such information; and who is responsible for appointing people to the JBC.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) is the analytical arm of National Health Service Test and Trace and is not dissimilar to the many analytical divisions and directorates across Government that provide insight to support policy making within Government departments. It is an organisation run and majority staffed by civil servants, with appointments made under standard civil service recruitment policy.

A description of its functions, leadership and governance is published online. The JBC is accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Its governance arrangements include a range of ministerial, technical and data boards.

The JBC takes transparency seriously and since July has issued a range of publications with partners such as Public Health England, including the weekly Contain Framework Local Authority Watchlist, associated epidemiology presented to the Local Action Committee and Action Cards. As an integral part of NHS Test and Trace, information and analysis published by the JBC is issued under the NHS Test and Trace brand.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the location of residential university students who test positive for COVID-19 is recorded in national statistics according to (1) their GP's address or (2) their university address.

All positive cases are reported according to the permanent address which they used to register with their general practitioner (GP). Universities encourage students to register with a local GP on arrival, so for many students any positive test will be assigned to their term-time location.

Lord Bethell
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions since September 2016 did Rt Hon David Cameron take overnight accommodation at (1) UK Embassies, (2) UK Consulates, or (3) UK Residencies; and whether, on any of these occasions, accommodation was also provided to (a) Lex Greensill, or (b) any associate of Greensill Capital.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Rt Hon David Cameron stayed at any British Embassies, Consulates or Residencies since he joined Greensill Capital as an adviser in August 2018; if so, whether any of those stays were in (1) France, (2) Germany, (3) Saudi Arabia, or (4) the United States; and whether during any of those stays (1) Mr Lex Greensill, or (2) Mr Bill Crothers, were present at the same time.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. The Minister will write directly to the Member with a response shortly.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, as part of the merger of the Department for International Development with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to broaden the brief of the British Council to promote activities, including higher education, outside of the developing world.

The British Council has a global remit, covering both developed and developing world. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently provides the British Council with non-ODA funding as well as ODA through existing Grant in Aid, which supports British Council arts and cultural activity in over 40 developed countries, such as the recent UK in Japan Season of Culture.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether will release the proposal sent by the Treasury to supply chain financiers to be incorporated in the Covid Corporate Financing Facility fund, as referred to by Rt Hon David Cameron in evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee on 13 May.

HM Treasury has provided both the call for evidence document which it circulated seeking views on a potential adjustment to the CCFF for supply chain finance and the feedback statement provided after the consultation closed to the Treasury Committee, and they have been published here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5758/documents/66074/default/

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to hold an inquiry into (1) the granting of a banking licence to Wyelands Bank, and (2) its subsequent supervision by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Since the financial crisis, we have implemented sweeping reforms to financial regulation. Through the Financial Services Act 2012, we dismantled the failed tripartite system, and replaced it with a set of regulators with clear objectives and responsibilities, with the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) responsible for the prudential supervision of the UK banking sector, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for ensuring proper conduct in line with UK financial regulations.

Wyelands Bank remains authorised by the PRA and regulated by the PRA and the FCA; however, as shown on the Financial Services Register, its permission to perform regulated activities is subject to limitations.

Although HM Treasury does not comment on supervisory matters, we continuously monitor risks across the financial sector and escalate our response where appropriate in coordination with the independent financial authorities – the FCA, PRA and Bank of England – as well as relevant government departments.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which department or agency is responsible for managing the sensitivity of (1) public accounts, and (2) expenditure, to interest rate movements.

As the government’s economic and finance ministry, HM Treasury is responsible for maintaining control over public spending, including debt interest expenditure. The Office for Budget Responsibility publish estimates of the sensitivity of debt interest spending to changes in interest rates in their Economic and Fiscal Outlook. We have strong independent economic institutions and a well-established macroeconomic framework that ensures we are well placed to deal with risks to our public finances.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
21st Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as a creditor of Greensill Capital and Greensill Bank, they will ask the administrators of those companies and related parties (1) to examine the personal expense claims made by (a) directors, (b) executives, and (c) advisors, for non-business related payments, including use of private jets, and (2) to ensure that the companies reported such non-cash benefits to the relevant income tax bodies, including HMRC.

The Government provides a guarantee, rather than direct funding, to lenders who are participating in the Bounce Back Loan, CBIL or CLBIL Schemes. Lenders participating in the Schemes must source their own funding, as they do for standard business lending.

Greensill Bank is a German bank, and so is regulated by the German supervisory authority, BaFin.

The administrator of Greensill Capital must send the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, a report on the conduct of all directors who were in office in the last 3 years of the company’s trading.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are liable for any conditional financial obligations under the financing arrangements between the Scottish Government and Liberty Steel Dalzell Limited and related parties in connection with Lochaber and related power purchase agreements, following the investment made by the Scottish government in 2016.

It is for the Scottish Government to decide what financial guarantees it provides in devolved areas and for managing any associated costs from its overall resources as set out in chapter 8 of the Consolidated Budgeting Guidance.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the statutory (1) role, and (2) responsibilities, of authorised corporate directors following the performance of Link Financial Solutions in the collapse of Woodford Investments.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the UK has a robust framework for financial regulation and that consumers are treated fairly. The FCA is responsible for overseeing the conduct standards of financial services firms.

The Government does not currently have plans to review the statutory role of authorised corporate directors (ACDs). However, the FCA is currently reviewing how effectively responsibilities are undertaken by ‘host’ ACDs – which are ACDs outside the group structure of the delegate investment manager. The FCA expects to complete this work in the first half of this year.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what talks they have held with banks about requests by the EU to move more (1) functions, and (2) people, from offices in the EU to the UK; and what assessment they have made of any such requests.

Treasury officials and Ministers carry out extensive engagement with the banking sector, regularly meeting with a wide range of firms as part of the process of policy development and delivery. Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available online[1].

The Bank of England (through the Prudential Regulation Authority) and the Financial Conduct Authority are responsible for supervising financial services firms in the UK.

The EU’s actions are fundamentally for them to articulate. We believe open markets are a global good, and they are best supported by global standards and effective regulation. Fragmentation is not in anyone’s interests.

The Chancellor set out in November our ambitious plans to renew the UK’s position as the world’s pre-eminent financial centre – ensuring it is more open, technologically advanced, a global leader in green finance, and of course well-regulated.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they had with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about Greensill Capital and anti-money laundering regulations; and on what dates the FCA visited Greensill Capital in relation to such regulations.

The FCA is the supervisor for firms registered as Annex 1 firms under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017.

Greensill Capital UK (Limited) was not authorised by the FCA. It was a registered entity under the Money Laundering Regulations, which means that it was subject to FCA regulation only for compliance with Anti-Money Laundering rules, not for wider conduct issues. Greensill Capital Securities Ltd was an Appointed Representative of an FCA-regulated firm, under whose supervision it could conduct some regulated activities. However, it was not itself supervised or authorised by the FCA. Greensill Capital Securities Ltd is no longer an Appointed Representative


It would not be appropriate for HM Treasury to comment on the actions taken by an independent regulator regarding an individual firm.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Bank of England has required Wyelands Bank to return all deposits or a category of deposits; if so, when; whether Wyelands remains an approved bank on the Bank of England list of banks; and if not, why this has not been publicly announced.

The PRA published a statement on its website on 3 March 2021, confirming that Wyelands Bank had been required to operationalise an orderly repayment of its deposits. Wyelands Bank has since published a statement on its website confirming that its deposit accounts have been closed and that depositors were repaid on 17 March. Wyelands have instructed any depositors who have not received their funds to contact their Customer Service team.

Wyelands remains authorised by the PRA and regulated by the PRA and the FCA; however, as shown on the Financial Services Register, its permission to perform regulated activities is subject to limitations.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether records at HM Treasury record or refer to any conversation since 1 January between David Cameron and ministers or senior civil servants relating to (a) Mr Lex Greensill, (b) Greensill Capital, or (c) Mr Sanjeev Gupta and his businesses; and if so, whether they will place copies of these records in the Library of the House.

Senior civil servants and ministers routinely meet and correspond with a range of private sector stakeholders. Transparency releases are published on a quarterly basis, and are currently publicly available for Senior Official and Ministerial meetings up to and including September 2020, which is in line with normal reporting timelines on disclosures.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further the Written Answer reply by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 16 March (HL13828), whether David Cameron attended any meetings with ministers or civil servants relating to Greensill Capital.

Senior civil servants and ministers routinely meet and correspond with a range of private sector stakeholders. Transparency releases are published on a quarterly basis, and are currently publicly available for Senior Official and Ministerial meetings up to and including September 2020, which is in line with normal reporting timelines on disclosures.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Bank of England’s actions to insulate public funding to interest rate increases by issuing debt with larger maturities; and the effect of quantitative easing on that strategy.

The UK Debt Management Office, an executive agency of HM Treasury, is responsible for government wholesale sterling debt issuance, not the Bank of England. HM Treasury and the Debt Management Office seek to minimise, over the long term, the costs of meeting the Government’s financing needs, taking into account risk.

In its March 2021 Economic and fiscal outlook the Office for Budget Responsibility noted that quantitative easing reduces the average effective maturity of UK government debt from 15 years to 11 years. This maturity remains much longer than international peers, with most G7 countries’ debt maturity averaging 5-8 years.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 16 March (HL13828), what records they hold of (1) correspondence, or (2) telephone conversations, between ministers and officials in (a) Her Majesty’s Treasury, (b) the Cabinet Office, or (c) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about (i) Lex Greensill, (ii) representatives of Greensill Capital, or (iii) the Rt Hon David Cameron, on matters relating to Greensill Capital.

Senior civil servants and ministers routinely meet and correspond with a range of private sector stakeholders. Transparency releases are published on a quarterly basis, and are currently publicly available for Senior Official and Ministerial meetings up to and including September 2020, which is in line with normal reporting timelines on disclosures.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what role the (1) Financial Conduct Authority, and (2) Prudential Regulation Authority, played in granting regulatory approval for Greensill Capital or its associates; and whether they advised BaFin in connection with the acquisition of Greensill Bank in Germany.

Greensill Capital (UK) Limited was not authorised by the FCA. It was a registered entity under the Money Laundering Regulations, which means that it was subject to FCA regulation only for compliance with Anti-Money Laundering rules, not for wider conduct issues. Greensill Capital Securities Ltd was an Appointed Representative of an FCA-regulated firm, under whose supervision it could conduct some regulated activities. However, it was not itself supervised or authorised by the FCA. Greensill Capital Securities Ltd is no longer an Appointed Representative.

At no time has the Bank of England authorised or supervised Greensill Bank AG, Greensill Capital (UK) Limited or any member of their group.

The UK Financial Authorities were not involved in the acquisition of Greensill Bank AG by Greensill Capital PTY in 2014.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 24 June 2019 (HL16211), whether they received a response from the Financial Conduct Authority after it had been made aware of the Parliamentary Question regarding Greensill.

The Financial Conduct Authority acknowledged notification of the Parliamentary Question regarding Greensill referenced in the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 24 June 2019 (HL16211).

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) ministers, or (2) senior civil servants, have met either (a) Mr Lex Greensill, or (b) representatives of Greensill Capital or SoftBank, since 1 January; and if so, (i) who attended the meeting, and (ii) on what dates were the meetings held.

Senior civil servants and ministers routinely meet and correspond with a range of private sector stakeholders. Transparency releases are published on a quarterly basis, and are currently publicly available for Senior Official and Ministerial meetings up to and including September 2020, which is in line with normal reporting timelines on disclosures.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) they, or (2) any regulators, are investigating the impact on banks and asset managers of the suspension of dealing in funds managed by Greensill Capital, and in particular the effect on banks of (a) risk concentration limits, and (b) capital requirements.

Greensill is an international group of firms, including an Australian holding company and a German bank. There are two UK entities – Greensill Capital UK and Greensill Capital Securities Limited.

Greensill Capital UK is not authorised by the UK financial authorities. It is registered under Anti-Money Laundering regulations, which means that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) supervises it for compliance with anti-money laundering rules, but not for wider conduct issues.

Greensill Capital Securities Limited is not authorised or supervised by the FCA but was an Appointed Representative of a regulated firm (Mirabella Advisers). An Appointed Representative is a firm or person who carries out regulated activities under the supervision of a firm directly authorised by the FCA (known as a principal firm). A principal firm is responsible for ensuring that its Appointed Representative complies with the requirements, rules and regulations of the FCA.

HM Treasury has been working closely with the FCA and PRA to monitor developments and assess the implications for the financial sector, and with other government departments to understand any impacts that these developments may have on linked UK-based companies and the services they provide.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they (1) are investigating, or (2) plan to investigate, matters related to a fund managed by GAM investing in securities packaged by Greensill Capital.

Greensill is an international group of firms, including an Australian holding company and a German bank. There are two UK entities – Greensill Capital UK and Greensill Capital Securities Limited.

Greensill Capital UK is not authorised by the UK financial authorities. It is registered under Anti-Money Laundering regulations, which means that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) supervises it for compliance with anti-money laundering rules, but not for wider conduct issues.

Greensill Capital Securities Limited is not authorised or supervised by the FCA but was an Appointed Representative of a regulated firm (Mirabella Advisers). An Appointed Representative is a firm or person who carries out regulated activities under the supervision of a firm directly authorised by the FCA (known as a principal firm). A principal firm is responsible for ensuring that its Appointed Representative complies with the requirements, rules and regulations of the FCA.

HM Treasury has been working closely with the FCA and PRA to monitor developments and assess the implications for the financial sector, and with other government departments to understand any impacts that these developments may have on linked UK-based companies and the services they provide.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps (1) they, or (2) any regulators, have taken to check whether the insurance security offered to investors by Greensill Capital was reflected in the policies secured from insurers; and whether any such policies were written by related parties.

Greensill is an international group of firms, including an Australian holding company and a German bank. There are two UK entities – Greensill Capital UK and Greensill Capital Securities Limited.

Greensill Capital UK is not authorised by the UK financial authorities. It is registered under Anti-Money Laundering regulations, which means that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) supervises it for compliance with anti-money laundering rules, but not for wider conduct issues.

Greensill Capital Securities Limited is not authorised or supervised by the FCA but was an Appointed Representative of a regulated firm (Mirabella Advisers). An Appointed Representative is a firm or person who carries out regulated activities under the supervision of a firm directly authorised by the FCA (known as a principal firm). A principal firm is responsible for ensuring that its Appointed Representative complies with the requirements, rules and regulations of the FCA.

HM Treasury has been working closely with the FCA and PRA to monitor developments and assess the implications for the financial sector, and with other government departments to understand any impacts that these developments may have on linked UK-based companies and the services they provide.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions over the last six months ministers and civil servants in (1) the Cabinet Office, (2) HM Treasury, and (3) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, hosted meetings with (a) Lex Greensill, or (b) representatives of Greensill Capital; and whether David Cameron was present at any of the meetings.

Senior officials and ministers routinely meet with a range of private sector stakeholders. There are robust transparency processes in place to ensure appropriate scrutiny of such meetings. Transparency releases are currently publicly available for meetings up to and including September 2020, which is in line with normal reporting timelines on disclosures. These are published on a quarterly basis, with the most recent release published in February 2021. Mr Roxburgh’s transparency release from July-September 2020 will be published shortly, but there are no meetings with either Lex Greensill or representatives of Greensill Capital to report in this release.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which financial regulator has primary responsibility for supervising Greensill Capital and its affiliates.

Greensill is an international group of firms, including an Australian holding company and a German bank. There are two UK entities – Greensill Capital UK and Greensill Capital Securities Limited.

Greensill Capital UK is not authorised by the UK financial authorities. It is registered under Anti-Money Laundering regulations, which means that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) supervises it for compliance with anti-money laundering rules, but not for wider conduct issues.

Greensill Capital Securities Limited is not authorised or supervised by the FCA but was an Appointed Representative of a regulated firm (Mirabella Advisers). An Appointed Representative is a firm or person who carries out regulated activities under the supervision of a firm directly authorised by the FCA (known as a principal firm). A principal firm is responsible for ensuring that its Appointed Representative complies with the requirements, rules and regulations of the FCA.

HM Treasury has been working closely with the FCA and PRA to monitor developments and assess the implications for the financial sector, and with other government departments to understand any impacts that these developments may have on linked UK-based companies and the services they provide.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) they, (2) the Financial Conduct Authority, or (3) the Prudential Regulation Authority, have taken any action in respect of the decision by Credit Suisse Asset Management to suspend dealing in supply chain finance funds managed by Greensill Capital because of uncertainties with respect to accurate valuation.

Greensill is an international group of firms, including an Australian holding company and a German bank. There are two UK entities – Greensill Capital UK and Greensill Capital Securities Limited.

Greensill Capital UK is not authorised by the UK financial authorities. It is registered under Anti-Money Laundering regulations, which means that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) supervises it for compliance with anti-money laundering rules, but not for wider conduct issues.

Greensill Capital Securities Limited is not authorised or supervised by the FCA but was an Appointed Representative of a regulated firm (Mirabella Advisers). An Appointed Representative is a firm or person who carries out regulated activities under the supervision of a firm directly authorised by the FCA (known as a principal firm). A principal firm is responsible for ensuring that its Appointed Representative complies with the requirements, rules and regulations of the FCA.

HM Treasury has been working closely with the FCA and PRA to monitor developments and assess the implications for the financial sector, and with other government departments to understand any impacts that these developments may have on linked UK-based companies and the services they provide.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of quantitative easing on the (1) value weighted maturity of government funding, and (2) sensitivity of government finance to interest rate changes.

The Office of Budget Responsibility set out in its March 2021 Economic and Fiscal Outlook the impact of quantitative easing on the average maturity of UK government bonds and debt interest sensitivity of government finances.

Quantitative easing has reduced the mean maturity of UK government debt from 15 years to 11 years. After accounting for the impact of quantitative easing, the effective average maturity of the UK’s gilt portfolio remains much higher than G7 peers.

Once quantitative easing reaches its current target size, it will increase central government debt interest sensitivity to a 1 percent rise in short term rates by £9bn. The OBR’s report noted that quantitative easing is expected to provide a net interest saving for the public sector of £17.8bn in 2021-22.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that the valuations of investment funds investing in supply chain finance are true and fair; and that such funds are suitable to enable a daily dealing facility for investors.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
1st Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what, if any, plans they have to give the Monetary Policy Committee greater freedom in the interpretation of that Committee’s inflation target following the lifting of the restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The remit of the MPC is set by the Chancellor and is reaffirmed yearly through a letter to the Governor of the Bank of England. It was updated at Spring Budget 2021. The remit re-confirms the inflation target for the MPC as 2 per cent as measured by the 12-month increase in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). This reflects the primacy of price stability and the forward-looking inflation target in the monetary policy framework. The Government’s commitment to price stability remains absolute.

The MPC’s remit already provides flexibility around the inflation target, allowing inflation to deviate temporarily in circumstances where attempts to hit the target may cause undesirable volatility in output or exacerbate financial stability risks.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
25th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of 10 years' of reduction in the corporation tax rate on (1) economic growth, (2) productivity, (3) innovation, and (4) employment.

The economic impacts of reductions in the rate of Corporation Tax since 2010 have been reflected in the OBR’s forecasts, and detailed in the OBR’s published Economic and Fiscal Outlooks as the rate had been reduced.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they, or any regulators, have reviewed the adequacy of the capitalisation of securities and derivative clearing houses since the introduction of restrictions on dealings in GameStop and AMC Entertainment; and what assessment they have made of the robustness of resolution plans for clearing houses

GameStop and AMC Entertainment are companies that are listed in the US and therefore fall within the remit of the relevant US regulators.

More broadly, however, the UK has a robust oversight and resolution regime in place for UK clearing houses (“CCPs”). The Government is committed to ensuring the highest regulatory standards for CCP oversight and resolution and keeps the regulatory framework under regular review.

Any restriction in the trading of specific UK shares would not itself have a detrimental effect on a UK CCP’s resources, as it would only mean less transactions cleared through the CCP.

However, if a clearing firm was unable to meet existing obligations to a UK CCP, the CCPs require their members to provide pre-funded resources to mitigate against this risk. Firstly, UK CCPs require clients to post collateral to help cover their trades if they should default on their obligations. CCPs then also require their clients to contribute to a mutualised pool of resources, to be used in the event the collateral provided by a defaulter is insufficient. This pool should, at a minimum, cover the default of the CCP’s two largest clients simultaneously.

In the unlikely circumstances where these pre-funded resources provided by its clients are insufficient, UK CCPs are also required to maintain a recovery plan to ensure the continuity of its services.

The Bank of England, as the regulator responsible for supervising CCPs in the UK, has close oversight of the requirements on firms set out above and is responsible for making sure that CCPs’ recovery plans are robust and up to date.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) quantitative easing, and (2) monetary policy in general, on reaching their inflation target.

The Bank of England has statutory responsibilities for monetary policy, including quantitative easing, and financial stability, and operational independence from the Government to carry out those responsibilities.

The separation of fiscal and monetary policy is a key feature of the UK’s economic framework, and essential for the effective delivery of monetary policy, so the Government does not comment on the conduct or effectiveness of monetary policy.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the sensitivity of public sector borrowing costs to interest rate changes as a result of quantitative easing affecting the maturity of public sector funding; and what plans they have to publish comparative sensitivity data from the time since quantitative easing was first introduced.

As noted in the Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR’s) November 2020 Economic and Fiscal Outlook (EFO), the Bank of England’s quantitative easing programme lowers government borrowing costs but shortens the average maturity of public sector debt and increases exposure to changes in short-term interest rates.

The OBR publish estimates of the sensitivity of debt interest spending to changes in interest rates in their EFO.

We have strong independent economic institutions and a well-established macroeconomic framework that ensures we are well placed to deal with risks to our public finances.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to allocate further resources to monitor incidents of money laundering associated with trade finance involving (1) misleading invoices, (2) bills of lading, and (3) the role of banks and other finance specialists in this field.

The Government’s ambitious Economic Crime Plan sets out the significant action we are taking – in conjunction with the private sector – to combat money laundering and other economic crimes. Many of the reforms committed to in the Plan will benefit efforts to tackle trade-based money laundering (TBML), which the 2020 National Risk Assessment on Money Laundering & Terrorist Financing assessed as a growing risk.

On TBML specifically, HMRC has established this threat as a priority illicit finance risk. HMRC’s work includes reviewing current trade compliance procedures and identifying opportunities to enhance our risk detection capabilities.

More widely, we are also investing more to tackle economic crime. The 2020 Spending Review announced an increase in the government’s efforts to tackle economic crime by providing an additional £30.5 million in resource and £32.5 million in capital funding in 2021/22, including support for the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) which coordinates law enforcement’s response to money laundering.

Further to this, we are also currently formulating our response to the Economic Crime Levy consultation. It will raise £100 million of additional funding per year to help fund reforms outlined in the Economic Crime Plan, including for the Suspicious Activity Reports reform programme and an uplift for the UK Financial Intelligence Unit. It will be an important source of funding for our ongoing action to tackle money laundering in all its forms.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the governance processes of equity index construction, including in relation to (1) economic growth, (2) financial stability, and (3) management accountability.

The use and operation of equity indices by UK supervised entities is governed by the Benchmarks Regulation, introduced in 2016. The Government has proposed amendments to the Benchmarks Regulation in the current Financial Services Bill to support the orderly wind-down of critical benchmarks. However, there are no current plans for a broader review of the legislation.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
30th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they completed an economic impact assessment for the reintroduction of the Crown preference for insolvency.

The Government’s reforms to make HMRC a secondary preferential creditor for certain tax debts (otherwise known as Protecting Your Taxes in Insolvency) came into effect across the UK on 1 December 2020.

The Government has taken a proportionate approach, applying changes only to taxes paid in good faith by employees and customers, but held temporarily by the business, including Pay as You Earn (PAYE) Income Tax and VAT. The reforms do not reintroduce crown preference, which applied more broadly across all tax debts.

The Government undertook careful work to assess the impact of the reforms ahead of announcement and implementation. As with all tax policy changes, the Government published this assessment in a tax information and impact note which can be found on gov.uk.[1]

[1] Full web-link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-protect-tax-in-insolvency-cases.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to investigate the socioeconomic consequences for consumers of banks charging negative real interest rates.

The Government believes that individuals, regardless of their background or income, should have access to useful and affordable financial products and services.

The independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England sets the Bank Rate to meet the objectives set out in its remit of maintaining price stability and subject to this, supporting the economic policy of the Government, including its objectives for growth and employment. The MPC is sensitive to the effect of low interest rates on savers and does consider the effect monetary policy decisions have on all households.

Commercial banks make commercial judgements that influence the degree of pass-through from changes in Bank Rate into retail interest rates, with conditions in financial markets and in the banking sector also influencing interest rates paid on deposits or charged for lending. The Government does not seek to intervene in these commercial decisions.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps (1) they, or (2) the Financial Conduct Authority, have taken to ensure that the pricing of funds managed by H20 Asset Management is based on fair valuation of portfolio investments.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish their response to the European Commission’s review of the Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive, and in particular the question on the delegation of portfolio management by funds in the EU to entities based in third countries.

The UK is a global leader in asset management and UK firms manage portfolios for clients located around world, including in the EU. The government is a strong supporter of portfolio delegation as an international norm in cross-border financial services that ensures investors around the world have access to the best investment expertise. The Treasury engages with EU counterparts on a range of issues and publishes consultation responses where it is appropriate to do so.

Through the Asset Management Taskforce and other engagement, the Treasury continues to work closely with industry leaders to identify opportunities to promote the UK asset management sector and the interests of the investors it serves.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
24th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they, or the Financial Conduct Authority, have reviewed (1) the accuracy, and (2) the regulatory completeness, of the statements issued by H2O Asset Management on 16 September and 22 September in connection to illiquid investments held in open-ended funds; and whether they (1) have investigated, or (2) plan to investigate, whether the transactions disclosed with related parties were in the best interests of all fund investors

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
21st Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the letter from 18 March 2019 by the Systemic Risk Council to the Financial Stability Board in response to that Board's discussion paper on the resolution of central counterparty clearing houses; and what plans they have to review capital adequacy and the effectiveness of incentives to prevent failure.

The UK is committed to maintaining the highest international and domestic standards of financial regulation, including for central counterparties (CCPs). The UK continues to play an active role in setting the international standards related to the recovery and resolution of CCPs. The UK was one of the first jurisdictions to have a domestic recovery and resolution regime in place, and we continue to keep this framework under review to ensure it effectively mitigates and prevents failure.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the potential risks for UK investors by H2O Asset Management's approach to valuing unlisted investments held in open-ended funds, and (2) whether any group of investors, including associates and other clients of H2O Asset Management and its executives and owner, have been treated preferentially.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any requests for information from the Autorité des Marchés Financiers in connection with the Financial Conduct Authority’s supervision of the valuation of investments in public funds managed by H2O Asset Management.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential competitive threat to the UK economy of treating carried interest arising from the management of private equity funds as income rather than capital; and what plans the Office for Tax Simplification has to investigate this issue.

The Government recognises that a competitive financial services sector in the UK, which includes the management of private equity funds, is an important part of attracting investment and driving growth.

The UK’s approach to the taxation of carried interest remains in line with most other G7 countries. It seeks to ensure that returns are taxed in line with their character and taxed at rates which appropriately balance the need to raise revenue with the importance of maintaining the UK’s competitiveness for fund management.

The OTS is undertaking a review of CGT and aspects of the taxation of chargeable gains. The review will recommend ways to simplify the tax system in line with the statutory role of the OTS.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the publication of the names of borrowers under various financial support arrangements established by the Government would facilitate the identification of funding provided to businesses controlled by unidentifiable owners in tax havens or controlled by directors previously convicted of fraud.

The Government has focused efforts on getting support to those who need it in a fast, fair and transparent manner, with data on loan applications and volume and value of loans approved under the loan guarantee schemes published regularly on Gov.UK.

It would be disproportionate for the Government to publish details of each individual recipient of those loans and grant payments.

Furthermore, the Government have been clear that the loans must be repaid, and banks are undertaking appropriate precautions against fraud, including customer checks and the monitoring of transactions. Any fraudulent applications can be criminally prosecuted.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) they, or (2) the Financial Conduct Authority, have reviewed the accuracy of public statements made by H2O Asset Management on the gating of funds.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Governor of the Bank of England's comments made on 22 June that the Government would have struggled to fund itself if the Bank had not intervened.

The Government does not comment on the Bank of England’s decisions. As stated by the Governor, the Bank uses quantitative easing (QE) to meet its own monetary policy objectives – including ensuring the smooth functioning of financial markets and controlling inflation – and buys gilts only from the secondary market. In line with the institutional separation of monetary and fiscal policy, decisions on QE are a matter for the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

The borrowing undertaken so far this year has been necessary to support the UK economy at this time. The UK is facing significant economic disruption, but the underlying causes of this disruption will pass. That is why we needed to act to ensure these effects do not become permanent. The Government announced unprecedented support for public services, business and workers to protect against the current economic emergency. Not taking these steps would result in the temporary effects of COVID-19 leaving permanent scars in our economy. The OBR have said that the fiscal and monetary support measures “help to limit the adverse impact on potential output and thus future GDP once the crisis has passed”.

The Government’s cost of borrowing is at an all-time low, despite the recent large increase in borrowing to support jobs and the economy. The gilt market is deep and liquid, with a good track record in responding smoothly to increases in gilt supply. The UK Debt Management Office (DMO) has been set a target issuance level of £275bn over the period April-August (inclusive).

Gilt auctions since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis have performed well; they have all been well-covered and pricing has been efficient. The UK Government remains the benchmark borrower in its own market and currency and gilts remain the key pricing reference for all sterling fixed income markets. Gilts remain as risk-free assets for major investors both internationally and in the UK. Underlying demand for the UK’s debt remains strong, with a well-diversified investor base, and no uncovered auctions since 2009.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will investigate the time it took for the Financial Conduct Authority to take action to prohibit the regulated entities from promoting the sale of “mini bonds”.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from the Government.

In November 2019, the FCA used its temporary product intervention powers to introduce a temporary ban on the mass-marketing of speculative illiquid securities, including speculative mini-bonds, to retail investors. This temporary ban applied from 1 January 2020.

On 18 June 2020, the FCA published proposals to make this temporary ban permanent.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will investigate conflicts of interest in the promotion of trade finance bonds in association with Greensill.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the conduct regulator for the financial services industry in the UK. The FCA will not normally make public the fact that it is or is not investigating a particular matter, in order to protect the effectiveness of any investigation it carries out. The FCA has been made aware of this Parliamentary Question.
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
11th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to assess the economic impact of stamp duty on the residential property market, including the impact on (1) construction, (2) home repairs, (3) consumer expenditure, and (4) inter-generational wealth distribution.

The Treasury continually monitors the residential property market and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) returns, and HMRC publish quarterly SDLT statistics. The Government keeps all tax policy, including SDLT, under review.
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
9th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria will be used to assess whether a business seeking funding under the Covid Corporate Financing Facility qualifies as making "a material contribution to the UK economy".

In practice, firms that meet this requirement would normally be: UK incorporated companies, including those with foreign-incorporated parents and with a genuine business in the UK; companies with significant employment in the UK; firms with their headquarters in the UK. We also consider whether the company generates significant revenues in the UK, serves a large number of customers in the UK or has a number of operating sites in the UK. These criteria are set out in the Facility’s pages on the Bank of England website.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are considering adjusting the mandate of the Bank of England to make (1) full employment or (2) nominal GDP an equal or higher priority than inflation.

Monetary Policy in the UK has the primary objective of achieving price stability, as set out in the Bank of England Act 1998. Price stability is an essential pre-requisite for long run growth.

As the Chancellor reaffirmed in the remit of the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the Budget, price stability is defined as a symmetric inflation target of 2 per cent, as measured by the 12-month increase in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

The Government’s commitment to price stability and the inflation target remains absolute.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any purchases made by the Bank of England this year under the quantitative easing arrangements have been of gilt-edged securities issued within less than one month of the Bank’s acquisition thereof.

The Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility Fund, its subsidiary used to implement quantitative easing, has purchased gilt-edged securities within one month of their issuance in 2020. This is in line with the Facility’s public operating procedures which require that it does not offer to purchase gilts within one week of their issue by the UK Debt Management Office.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) they, or (2) the Financial Conduct Authority, are investigating the value of H2O Asset Management’s transactions on behalf of (a) regulated investment funds under its management, (b) parties related to H2O Asset Management, and (c) H2O Asset Management affiliated companies and executives.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
21st May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) department, (2) executive agency, (3) board, (4) court, or (5) other body, is responsible for ensuring that the Bank of England’s independence is not compromised through the financing of UK Government debt.

The Bank of England (the Bank) has statutory responsibilities for monetary policy and financial stability, and independence from the government to carry out these responsibilities as enshrined in the Bank of England Act (1998). The Bank is accountable to both the public and to Parliament, through scrutiny by the Treasury Committee.

The remit of the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is set by the Chancellor, and is reaffirmed annually through an exchange of open letters with the Governor of the Bank.

The separation of monetary and fiscal policy is a key pillar of the government’s macroeconomic framework. As such, the responsibility for financing the government’s needs was transferred from the Bank to the UK’s Debt Management Office (DMO), an executive agency of HM Treasury, in 1998. The Treasury sets the DMO’s objective for debt management independently of monetary policy.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review the effect of deteriorating credit quality on the (1) profits, and (2) capital generated to meet claims, of life insurance companies under the matching adjustment permitted by the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Since the onset of the crisis caused by covid-19, the Government has been monitoring any impact of any deteriorating credit quality on the profits and capital generated to meet the claims of life insurance companies closely. We monitor developments in the profitability, liquidity and solvency of insurance companies, including the impact of credit quality on the matching adjustment and any resulting impact on these metrics. The Prudential Regulation Authority continually keeps the operation of the matching adjustment under review.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they, or the Financial Conduct Authority, monitor whether trade receivables included in securitised bonds (1) reflect transactions completed, or (2) can also include transactions yet to be completed or documented by the two sides to the expected transaction; and whether they have discussed this with the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority in Germany.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) are responsible for monitoring risks in the UK securitisation market, in line with their statutory objectives.

In January 2019, the EU Securitisation Regulation (Regulation 2017/2407) became applicable in the United Kingdom. Consistent with this Regulation, the Government and the FCA expects that underlying exposures transferred to a securitisation vehicle, including trade receivables, contain obligations which are contractually binding and enforceable.

In trade receivable transactions, goods or services to which the credit claims refer may be delivered later and be deficient. Such a risk is often quantified as a matter of routine in securitisation transactions. The Government expects relevant market participants to conduct due diligence where required.

The FCA and the PRA apply a risk-based supervision of the securitisation market and can choose to undertake a thematic analysis of the market, including on trade receivables financing.

The FCA maintains bilateral relationships and collaborates effectively with the regulatory and supervisory authorities of other countries, including Germany.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
17th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they plan to take to prevent credit insurers unilaterally withdrawing cover.

The government is discussing with UK authorities, businesses and the insurance industry, the impact of COVID-19 on the trade credit insurance market.

As the Chancellor announced on Tuesday 17 March the government would do whatever it takes to get our nation through the impacts of COVID-19 and that he stands ready to announce further action wherever necessary.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have issued any guidance (1) to fund managers on statements related to restricting redemptions of investments of open-ended funds, and (2) on whether fund managers may issue statements that fund investors will never be gated.

The government is committed to ensuring that the UK has a robust framework for regulating financial services and that consumers are treated fairly. There are a range of existing rules in this area and there is work underway to address ‘liquidity mismatch’ in open-ended funds and to protect consumers.

Financial services firms are required to treat customers fairly under rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the FCA is responsible for overseeing the conduct standards of financial services firms. There are already a number of rules on eligible assets, which aim to protect consumers. Such rules apply to both types of fund that can be sold to retail investors – UCITS and non-UCITS retail schemes. Additionally, in September, the FCA published a policy response to their consultation on illiquid assets and open-ended funds. This outlined new rules for certain structures that invest in illiquid assets, which will come into effect in September 2020. The new rules will include a requirement that non-UCITS retail schemes investing in inherently illiquid assets must suspend dealing where the independent valuer determines there is material uncertainty regarding the value of more than 20% of the fund’s assets. The FCA is also currently working with the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee to assess how funds’ redemption terms might be better aligned with the liquidity of their assets.

Fund suspensions can be a necessary safety feature which ensures that a fund is not forced to sell assets at a distressed market price, which would lead to further losses for end investors in the fund. FCA rules permit suspensions, which may last for as long as is necessary to protect the interests of the remaining investors in the fund.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is their policy to use counter cyclical capital adjustments for banks to enhance resilience in order to cope with economic downturns; and whether they mandate regular stress tests.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the Bank of England is prescribed the power to set the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) rate for the United Kingdom. The FPC has set out its approach to the use of the CCyB in a Policy Statement published in April 2016 on the Bank of England website. As part of a wider package of measures announced by the Bank of England’s policy committees in response to the economic shock of Covid-19, the FPC reduced the UK CCyB to 0% on 11 March. This will support up to £190 billion of bank lending to businesses.

The Bank of England undertakes an annual stress test of major UK banks to examine the potential impact of a hypothetical adverse scenario on the resilience of the banking system. The 2019 stress test showed the banking system to be resilient to a scenario encompassing deep simultaneous recessions in the UK and global economies that are more severe overall than the global financial crisis, combined with large falls in asset prices and a separate stress of misconduct costs. On 20 March the Bank of England announced it would cancel the 2020 stress test to ensure lenders can focus on meeting the needs of UK households and businesses through the economic shock caused by Covid-19.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they, or the Financial Conduct Authority, have taken any action to (1) monitor, or (2) issue guidance, to peer-to-peer lenders about whether new client inflows should be used to support previous borrowers experiencing financial difficulty and funded by earlier investors.

The Government monitors the peer-to-peer lending sector on an ongoing basis and engages regularly with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector.

The FCA is operationally independent from Government. The second part of the question, as it relates to the FCA, has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter, and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the recent equity market falls have surpassed stress test levels used to determine the capital adequacy of central clearing houses supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Central clearing houses, or central counterparties (CCPs), are financial institutions firms use to manage some of the risks arising from traded markets. UK CCPs are subject to many requirements to manage financial risk, including maintaining risk models to quantify the level of financial resources they need to operate safely. As such, it is right that the level of resource held by CCPs is subject to rigorous and frequent internal stress tests, as set out in the legislation that governs them. These stress tests assess the resilience of a CCP in extreme but plausible market conditions. Furthermore, UK CCPs remain subject to EU-wide stress tests during the Transition Period.

The Bank of England supervises UK CCPs as part of its financial stability objective. However, it is not possible to publicly disclose specific quantitative details on individual firm’s stress tests because this is firm sensitive information.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue guidance to (1) unit trust, and (2) open-ended investment company, managers to limit fund redemptions instead of obliging fund managers to be forced sellers of shares and bonds.

The government is committed to ensuring that the UK has a robust framework for regulating financial services and that consumers are treated fairly. There are a range of existing rules in this area and there is work underway to address ‘liquidity mismatch’ in open-ended funds and to protect consumers.

Financial services firms are required to treat customers fairly under rules set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the FCA is responsible for overseeing the conduct standards of financial services firms. There are already a number of rules on eligible assets, which aim to protect consumers. Such rules apply to both types of fund that can be sold to retail investors – UCITS and non-UCITS retail schemes. Additionally, in September, the FCA published a policy response to their consultation on illiquid assets and open-ended funds. This outlined new rules for certain structures that invest in illiquid assets, which will come into effect in September 2020. The new rules will include a requirement that non-UCITS retail schemes investing in inherently illiquid assets must suspend dealing where the independent valuer determines there is material uncertainty regarding the value of more than 20% of the fund’s assets. The FCA is also currently working with the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee to assess how funds’ redemption terms might be better aligned with the liquidity of their assets.

Fund suspensions can be a necessary safety feature which ensures that a fund is not forced to sell assets at a distressed market price, which would lead to further losses for end investors in the fund. FCA rules permit suspensions, which may last for as long as is necessary to protect the interests of the remaining investors in the fund.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
13th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to secure extra dollar swap arrangements to support trade and financial settlements.

Dollar swap line arrangements are made between central banks, and are therefore a matter for the Bank of England.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
11th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the announcement by H20 Asset Management on 10 March that clients face "surprisingly large losses", what plans they have to investigate that company's risk control strategies and executive leadership.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to commission an independent review into the structure and effectiveness of Banking Competition Remedies Ltd, in particular the (1) role of Baringa Partners, and (2) selection of participating lenders and their impact in taking market share.

Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) is the independent body established to oversee and implement the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) funded alternative remedies package, which replaced RBS’ original State aid commitment to divest its Williams & Glyn business.

The performance of BCR is overseen by an independent monitor, Mazars, appointed by HM Treasury. HM Treasury has no ownership or control rights over BCR, which is governed by an independent board of directors.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) any risk to the stability of the financial system from the potential failure of large portfolio risk management systems, and (2) the level of competition between providers of such systems to banks, insurers and fund managers.

HM Treasury works closely with the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (collectively the ‘Financial Authorities’) to ensure that the financial system is robust to a wide range of operational risks.

Responsibility for the UK finance sector’s networks and systems is primarily for the firms themselves, and we expect firms to assess and manage the risks arising from the use of systems provided by a third party.

We continue to work closely with the other Financial Authorities and industry to assess third-party risks in the sector. In December 2019, the Bank of England published a Consultation Paper which outlined updated policy proposals regarding outsourcing and third-party risk management.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to securing a permanent equivalence agreement with the EU for financial services, and to other positions if this is not achieved.

We are committed to concluding a full range of equivalence assessments by June 2020 as we agreed with the EU. Equivalence will be a key part of our future relationship with the EU, and we are clear that it is an autonomous and technical process, which should proceed in a way that builds trust and dialogue between both sides.

In addition, we are willing to look at regulatory and supervisory cooperation arrangements that reflect the level of access between our markets, and seek to establish processes for dialogue on equivalence.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they, or the Financial Conduct Authority, intend to investigate the nickel market on the London Metal Exchange for (1) possible market manipulation, or (2) failure to comply with market disclosure requirements.

I am unable to go into detail regarding individual cases. Investigations into alleged market abuse are the purview of the FCA, who I understand are aware of these allegations.

The Government takes any attempt at market abuse extremely seriously and is committed to ensuring that financial markets are sound and transparent. The Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) strengthens the previous UK market abuse framework by extending its scope to new markets, new platforms and new behaviours. It contains prohibitions of insider dealing, unlawful disclosure of inside information and market manipulation, provisions to prevent and detect these acts, and powers to take enforcement action against those who do. I am confident that under MAR we have robust systems and controls in place to preserve market integrity and protect investors.
Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
12th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the engineering feasibility of building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland, and (2) the estimated costs and sources of funding for such a project.

The government is committed to upgrading our infrastructure, and we are looking at a range of options to level up the country and support growth and productivity in every region. We will set out more details on our plans to increase investment in infrastructure at the Budget.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
11th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of ring-fencing on the pricing of risk in the UK residential mortgage market.

The Bank of England acknowledged, in its December 2019 Financial Stability Report, that there has been increased competition in the UK residential mortgage market, as reflected by the continued decline in interest rates for new mortgages. This report noted that the competition in the mortgage market may have been amplified by the introduction of ring-fencing regulation.

This year the Treasury will be appointing an independent panel to conduct a review of the operation of ring-fencing, as required by legislation. Based on the conclusions reached in its report, the review panel will make any necessary recommendations to the Treasury. This final report will then be published by the Treasury.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many inspection visits HMRC made to money service businesses registered with them in each of the calendar quarters from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019; and (2) how many of any such visits per quarter led to (a) de-registration, (b) disciplinary action or (c) closure of the business.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) takes appropriate and effective enforcement actions against Money Service Businesses (MSBs) who fail to comply with the money laundering regulations. However, we consider that releasing the specific number of investigations and visits made to businesses in different sectors could enable opportunists to identify where resource is being focused, allowing criminals to arrange their activities accordingly to escape challenge. HMRC are therefore not able to release sector specific numbers on how many inspection visits are conducted against MSBs. The National Risk Assessment 2017 assessed MSBs as high risk for money laundering and terrorism financing and HMRC takes a risk-based approach to prioritise resources.

Across all sectors, HMRC closed around 1,300 onsite cases in each of the financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19. Many of these cases involved multiple visits to businesses and onsite inspection visits are just one of the ways that HMRC monitors supervised businesses. We cannot provide information on the outcomes of inspection visits alone although in the 2019/2020 financial year, HMRC has seen the value of penalties across all sectors triple when compared with the value of penalties issued for the financial year 2017/18.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last assessed the risk that money service businesses were involved in the finance of crime and terrorism; what conclusions they reached as a result of any such assessment; and what action they took, if any, to tighten inspection and supervision of such businesses.

Law enforcement agencies and the statutory anti-money laundering (AML) supervisors monitor the money laundering and terrorism financing risk associated with money service businesses on an ongoing basis. The Government published a National Risk Assessment (NRA) of the risk of money laundering and terrorism financing in October 2017. The NRA 2017 concluded that there was a high risk associated with money service businesses.

The Government recognises the importance of developing and maintaining a robust and shared national understanding of money laundering and terrorist financing risks. The 2020 NRA, which will be published by July 2020, will provide an update on how these risks have changed since the 2017 NRA.

HMRC recognises the risk posed by money service businesses and continues to devote a significant proportion of resources to their supervision. The NECC and HMRC are committed to working with public and private sector stakeholders to further reduce the extent to which money service businesses are used to facilitate serious and organised crime. Aided by a recent increase in supervision fees, HMRC committed as part of the Economic Crime Plan to ensure a robust approach to deliver an enhanced risk-based approach to its AML/CTF supervision by March 2021.

In September 2019, HMRC announced a record fine of £7.8million against a London-based money service business for breaching the Money Laundering Regulations. This fine followed a joint month-long crack down on high risk money service businesses lead by HMRC, the Metropolitan Police and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions in the last three years HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority met to discuss co-ordination of their regulatory supervision of money service businesses; and how many occasions during that period those bodies conducted joint inspections of registered businesses.

Since October 2019, HMRC have formally met with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) at least every month to discuss coordination of their regulatory supervision. Prior to that, meetings took place approximately every six weeks and were used to discuss specific cases and other issues. HMRC and the FCA also have frequent informal contact every few days.

HMRC and the FCA do not operate a dual supervision model. Where a business is authorised by the FCA for Money Transmission only, HMRC are the supervisory authority. Conversely, when a business is supervised for any other activity by the FCA, the FCA are the supervisory authority.

HMRC and the FCA share information and intelligence to assist each other with the supervision and regulation of registered and supervised businesses and work collaboratively to promote supervised businesses’ understanding of the risks they face, their statutory obligations and the implications of inadequately managing those risks.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who is responsible for the regulatory interface between HMRC and the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of money service businesses; and what measures are in place to ensure that individual businesses do not fall between the supervision of either body.

The Treasury is responsible for appointing Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing supervisors under the Money Laundering Regulations and works closely with them to ensure they deliver the government’s objective of a robust risk-based approach to supervision.

Whilst supervision of the sector is shared between HMRC and FCA, responsibilities on an individual firm basis are clearly allocated to each supervisor and both HMRC and FCA hold registers of entities subject to their supervision. The FCA is the supervisory authority for credit and financial institutions, including money service businesses (MSBs), when they are authorised persons under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. HMRC is the designated supervisor for non-financial institution MSBs that are not otherwise supervised by the FCA.

Each supervisor is responsible for reviewing the AML compliance of MSBs under their supervision using a risk-based approach. The registration process for an MSB involves scrutiny of all beneficial owners, officers and managers to determine whether they are fit and proper to hold these positions. Both supervisors have established procedures for working collaboratively on policing the gateway and on the AML supervision of the MSB sector. This is underpinned by a joint FCA/HMRC Memorandum of Understanding and established legal gateways for sharing information and expertise.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) whether they, or the Financial Conduct Authority, are monitoring the use by fund managers of forward equity subscription commitments to leverage the gearing of open-end fund portfolios, and what assessment they have made as to whether such fund managers are correctly reporting the existence of such commitments to potential and actual investors in relevant funds; and (2) whether they have reviewed the arrangements made and signed by Woodford Investments as a principal or agent for funds.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
27th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the effectiveness of authorised corporate directors of open-ended investment funds in providing investor protection.

The government is committed to ensuring that the UK has a robust framework for financial regulation and that consumers are treated fairly. The FCA is responsible for overseeing the conduct standards of financial services firms.

‘Host’ Authorised Corporate Directors (ACDs) are Authorised Fund Managers which are not within the group structure of the delegate investment manager. The FCA is currently reviewing how effectively ‘host’ ACDs undertake their responsibilities. The FCA expects to complete this work in the first half of 2020.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of requiring local authority borrowers to obtain independent credit ratings on the management of local authority borrowing.

Local authorities borrow and invest under the Prudential Framework, and are free to borrow from any source provided it is in UK Sterling, without having to seek Government approval. Local authorities are free to pursue sources of financing that require the authority to obtain a credit rating. However, other options remain available including the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) which, subject to conditions to prevent local authorities borrowing to invest primarily for yield, requires only that authorities confirm the borrowing is affordable.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will announce details of the Shared Prosperity Fund arrangements for Cornwall before the end of the transition period for the UK's departure from the EU.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for people and places.

Funding for the UKSPF will ramp up so that total domestic UK-wide funding will at least match receipts from EU structural funds.

To help local areas prepare over 2021-22 for the introduction of the UKSPF, the Government will provide additional funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Further details will be published in the new year.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect of any fall in the value of retail properties on the finances of local authorities which have borrowed money from the Treasury and government agencies to acquire investment properties outside the geographical limits of the relevant authorities; and what assessment they have made of whether losses that might arise as a result will affect government funding to such authorities.

When local authorities borrow and invest, they must have regard to the Prudential Framework, to ensure that the capital investment plans are affordable, prudent and sustainable. The Department's statutory investment guidance forms part of this Framework, and it makes clear that authorities should include mitigating actions in their investment strategies if there is a risk that asset values will not be sufficient to cover losses to the capital invested.

The Department does not collect data on the regional holdings of local authority owned investment properties. However, throughout this period we have continued to work with local government to ensure we have a collective understanding of the pressures councils are facing, including losses from commercial sources. The Department is working on a comprehensive plan to ensure councils' financial sustainability over the financial year ahead.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any reports of COVID-19 infection among the imprisoned community; whether HM Prison Service has made arrangements to protect others imprisoned in the same establishment; and what estimate they have made of the number of COVID-19 infected prisoners that can be managed within the total prison estate.

COVID-19 presents a unique set of challenges that we must address in order to maintain the provision of services in custody. HMPPS are working very closely with Public Health England (PHE) to ensure our approach is based on the best scientific advice available. The safety and wellbeing of staff, prisoners and visitors is paramount and at the heart of our approach.

We have existing, well-developed policies and procedures in place to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases. This means prisons are well prepared to take immediate action whenever cases or suspected cases are identified. In line with broader clinical advice, HMPPS has introduced a procedure for the protective isolation of individuals in prison custody when it is considered that they may be potentially infected with the virus.

As of 24 March, prisons in England and Wales are temporarily closed to visitors. This is to ensure prisons are complying with PHE social distancing rules. The usual regime in prisons has also been paused temporarily to apply social distancing. These measures are vital for keeping prisoners and staff safe and preventing the spread of the virus.

We are closely monitoring the number of individuals within the imprisoned community who have tested positive for COVID-19. As of 31 March, 69 prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 across 25 prisons.