Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted Portrait

Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted

Liberal Democrat - Life peer

1 APPG membership (as of 15 Jun 2022)
Corporate Governance
2 Former APPG memberships
EU Relations, Islamic Finance
Economic Affairs Committee
25th May 2016 - 28th Jan 2021
Finance Bill Sub-Committee
21st Jan 2020 - 22nd Jan 2021
Finance Bill Sub-Committee
6th Dec 2016 - 17th Mar 2017
Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill [HL] Special Public Bill Committee
13th Sep 2016 - 9th Nov 2016


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 5th July 2022
10:30
Industry and Regulators Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: The work of Ofwat
5 Jul 2022, 10:30 a.m.
At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Professor Catherine Waddams - Professor at University of East Anglia
At 11.30am: Oral evidence
Emma Clancy - Chief Executive at Consumer Council for Water
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 7th July 2022
10:00
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 14th July 2022
09:15
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 19th July 2022
10:00
Division Votes
Tuesday 7th June 2022
Immigration (Restrictions on Employment and Residential Accommodation) (Prescribed Requirements and Codes of Practice) and Licensing Act 2003 (Personal and Premises Licences) (Forms), etc., Regulations 2022
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 56 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 159 Noes - 95
Speeches
Monday 16th May 2022
Queen’s Speech
My Lords, I identify with the comments on constitutional matters led by the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, on …
Written Answers
Thursday 23rd June 2022
UK Endorsement Board
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL760), why the UK …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 20th January 2020
Unconscionable Conduct in Commerce Bill [HL] 2019-21
A bill to create an offence of conduct in trade and commerce that is unconscionable; and for connected purposes
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted has voted in 210 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(18 debate interactions)
Baroness Stedman-Scott (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(14 debate interactions)
Baroness Penn (Conservative)
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(46 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(43 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(22 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted


A bill to create an offence of conduct in trade and commerce that is unconscionable; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading (Lords)
Monday 20th January 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


116 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
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL760), whether they will change the answer given to the original question, answered on 27 May (HL404), now that this later answer clarifies that the attachment of the January 2007 impact assessment to the answer (HL404) has no relevance to the question put.

I refer the noble Baroness to the Government’s response to HL760, which supplements the Government’s response to HL404.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL760), why the UK Endorsement Board is missing from the Public Appointments Order in Council; and whether (1) the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and (2) the National Audit Office, have been made aware of that omission.

As the UK Endorsement Board is not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, it does not appear on the Public Appointments Order in Council, which was last reviewed in 2019 – prior to the UK Endorsement Board being established. With the exception of the Chair, appointments to the UK Endorsement Board are made by the Chair, with the consent of Ministers rather than being full public appointments.

BEIS officials have not discussed the UK Endorsement Board with the Commissioner for Public Appointments and the National Audit Office. The Government undertakes to consult the Commissioner’s office to discuss whether to include the UK Endorsement Board in the Order.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 15 June (HL760), how many applications were received for the post of Chair of the UK Endorsement Board; how many candidates were invited for interview; what was the composition of the interview panel; when and where the announcement was made that Pauline Wallace had been reappointed; and whether they will place a copy of the candidate pack in the Library of the House.

Diversity summary

Of seven applications to the role of Chair of the UK Endorsement Board, two were female and five are male. A detailed split is as follows:

Male

Female

BAME

With Disabilities

LGBT

Total

5 (71%)

2 (29%)

4 (57%)

1 (14%)

0 (0%)

Panel Summary

  • Panel Chair and BEIS Representative: Eoin Parker, Director, Business Frameworks
  • Other Panel Member: John Coomber, Non-Executive Director, Financial Reporting Council
  • Other Panel Member: Clare Cole, Director of Market Oversight at the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Independent Panel Member: Shrinivas Honap, Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Chair, UK Space Agency

As this campaign is still ongoing, no announcement on the successful candidate has been made.

There are no plans to place a copy of the candidate pack in the Libraries of the House.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL127), why the UK Endorsement Board website at 1 June 2022 made no reference to Mr Ashley’s career of 35 years at KPMG.

The profile of Mike Ashley on the UK Endorsement Board website sets out his career with KPMG. A copy of the profile is attached for reference. It is a matter for the UK Endorsement Board to decide what information they include on their website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL127 and HL128), whether they asked Mike Ashley or Seema Jamil O’Neill for information when preparing their response; and if not, whether they will now do so.

The UK Endorsement Board secretariat provides an administrative role with no executive function so staff in the secretariat should not be subject to parliamentary questions about their previous experience. However, I can assure the noble Baroness that all members of the secretariat were recruited through fair and open competition.

The Government did not ask Mike Ashley for information in preparing its response to the previous questions. Officials contacted Mr Ashley during preparation of a response to this question and he informed officials that, to the best of his recollection, he was the KPMG audit engagement partner for years ending 31/12/2001 until 31/12/2004 inclusive.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 1 June (HL473), what assessment they made of the duties of auditors set out the decision in Caparo Vs Dickman when providing that answer; and in particular, the part of the judgment which states "It is the auditors' function to ensure, so far as possible, that the financial information as to the company's affairs prepared by the directors accurately reflects the company's position in order, first, to protect the company itself from the consequences of undetected errors or, possibly, wrongdoing (by, for instance, declaring dividends out of capital)."

The Government did not make an assessment in providing the Written Answer on 1 June 2022 to Question HL473. The interpretation of court judgements is not a matter for the Government, but for relevant regulators and the courts.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL245), why the post of Chair to the UK Endorsement Board was not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Chair campaign was not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments as the role is not currently included on the Public Appointments Order in Council. Only roles included on the Order are regulated by the Commissioner. The classification and form of the UK Endorsement Board means it was not included on the Order, however this position may be reviewed in future.

Nevertheless, the campaign was run in accordance with the usual regulated process in all respects other than the advert remaining on the Cabinet Office website after the closing date.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL404), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, whether the result of companies having to do adjustments has been subject to an impact assessment in terms of (1) burdens on business, and (2) the risk of hiding insolvency.

The matter in the question was not considered in the January 2007 impact assessment on the Companies Act 2006.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL404), what assessment they have made of whether directors and auditors should be making “adjustments” at the time the accounts are signed, because the lack of such adjustments could hamper the determination of solvency/going concern position of a company.

The directors are responsible for signing off the accounts and making sure they comply with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. The Companies Act requires that companies take into account the additional factors in Part 23 of the Companies Act when calculating distributable profits. This is to ensure that a company may only make distributions out of profits available for the purpose of distribution.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 27 May (HL403), what “other criteria” must be assessed under Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006, in addition to those set out in sections 833A and 844, before paying a dividend.

Companies are required to take account of all of the matters in Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006 before paying a dividend.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 23 May (HL294), whether (1) the International Accounting Standards Board’s Framework extant in 2001, (2) the Conceptual Framework published in 2018, or (3) some other “Framework” or “Conceptual Framework”, applies to UK adopted accounting standards under IAS1.

The Conceptual Framework issued by the International Accounting Standards Board is not an international accounting standard and therefore is not adopted into UK law. Nevertheless, it does provide a basis for the use of judgement in resolving accounting issues. It is only of relevance in situations where no specific international accounting standard applies to a transaction, event or condition (as set out in IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 27 May (HL402), whether the Secretary of State or the UK Endorsement Board have been endorsing International Accounting Standards as set out in Regulation 7 of The International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 only, and without reference to section 403(1) of the Companies Act 2006.

As set out in the answer I gave the noble Baroness on 27 May 2022 to Question HL402, both the Secretary of State and, following the delegation of statutory functions, the UK Endorsement Board have adopted international accounting standards in accordance with the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL131), whether they asked Pauline Wallace for information when preparing their response; and if not, whether they will now do so.

Pauline Wallace has informed the Government that she had no involvement in the tribunal between the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board and PwC.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), what assessment they have made of the judgment given in the Caparo V Dickman case; and whether their reply was based on that assessment.

The Government did not make an assessment of the Caparo V Dickman case in providing the Written Answer on 20 May 2022 to Question HL31.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), why s833A is relevant to that answer, given that s833A does not provide an example of adjustments to numbers in the audited accounts because s833A(7) uses different numbers valued in accordance with rules from the Prudential Regulatory Authority instead.

As noted in the answer I gave to HL31, section 833A is an example of a factor that directors in certain insurance companies may need to consider when using their relevant accounts to determine their company’s distributable profits. Section 833A works in tandem with other sections that reference the accounts, to create a dual test.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), how any audited accounts described as a "starting point" can have been reliable for assessing whether a company is capable of being a going concern or not, if that “starting point” (1) contained material unrealised profits, and (2) excluded material realised losses.

UK-adopted international accounting standards require the directors of a company, when preparing the accounts, to make an assessment of the company’s ability to continue to operate as a going concern for at least 12 months from the balance sheet date. These standards also require disclosure where there are material uncertainties related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt upon the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

Section 836 of the Companies Act 2006 requires that the calculation of distributable profits is determined by reference to the relevant accounts. Part 23 includes other criteria that must be assessed before the amount of distributable profits for the company can be determined. In taking a decision to pay a dividend, directors must also consider their duty under s172 of the Companies Act 2006 to promote the success of the company for the benefit of shareholders as a whole. Consideration of the success of the company may include an assessment of whether the company would, following the payment of the proposed dividend, be solvent and continue to be able to pay its debts as they fall due, in the context of the current and likely future position and needs of the company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL27 and HL31), by what authority the UK Endorsement Board is endorsing accounting standards under its duties in secondary legislation without considering the primary legislative framework in which those standards sit; and when was such authority (1) given, and (2) by whom.

Regulation 5 of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/685) gave the Secretary of State the responsibility to adopt international accounting standards, with a view to harmonising the financial information presented by companies preparing accounts required by section 403(1) of the Companies Act 2006. This responsibility was delegated to the UK Endorsement Board via the International Accounting Standards (Delegation of Functions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021, which was approved by Parliament and came into force on 22 May 2021. The delegation also includes the requirement to abide by the basis for adoption of international accounting standards set-out in Regulation 7 of SI 2019/685.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 20 May (HL31), how systemic such adjustments are if audited accounts are merely a “starting point“; and whether the result of companies having to do that has been subject to an impact assessment in terms of (1) burdens on business, and (2) the risk of hiding insolvency.

Companies calculate their distributable profits under Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006, and as such, it is an individual decision at the company level as to whether to make a distribution.

An impact assessment on the Companies Act 2006 was published in January 2007 and is attached to this response.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 September 2020 (HL7849), which version of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) framework is applicable to directors preparing International Accounting Standards (IAS) accounts given that (1) the (a) EU, and (b) UK Endorsement Board, have not endorsed any framework, and (2) the EU adopted international accounting standards at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 which are not legislation and do not include any framework.

The Companies Act 2006 (the Act) requires UK-registered companies which use international accounting standards when preparing their accounts to use UK-adopted international accounting standards. UK-adopted international accounting standards are defined in Section 474 of the Act as the international accounting standards which are adopted for use within the United Kingdom by virtue of Chapter 2 or 3 of Part 2 of SI 2019/685. These are any international accounting standards endorsed by the EU as at the end of the EU Exit transition period, and any subsequent UK adoptions of international accounting standards by the Secretary of State or, following the delegation of this function, by the UK Endorsement Board. A consolidated text of UK-adopted international accounting standards can be found on the UK Endorsement Board’s website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why an advertisement for the appointment of a Chair for the UK Endorsement Board appeared on the Cabinet Office website on 15 December 2021 but was then taken down before the completion of that process.

The advert for a campaign to recruit a new Chair to the UK Endorsement Board was published on the Cabinet Office website on 15 December 2021, and remained there until the closing date for applications on 23 January 2022. Campaigns that are not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments are no longer visible to the public on the website after they have closed for applications.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Mike Ashley was a serving member of the Accounting Standards Board when he acted as an expert witness to defend PwC against the Financial Reporting Council’s action in respect of PwC’s audit of Mayflower plc; and if so, (1) what assessment was made of whether this constituted a conflict of interest, and (2) whether he offered to resign from the Board.

Mike Ashley was a serving member of the UK Accounting Standards Board, which was a Board of the FRC, when he acted as an expert witness on behalf of PwC during the Tribunal between the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board and PwC. The judgement for this case is available on the FRC’s website (and a copy is attached to this response). The Government does not hold information relating to the procedures of the UK Accounting Standards Board which was a Board of the FRC and ceased operating in 2012.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the processes for the recruitment of Seema Jamil O’Neil (1) to the staff of Accounting Standards Board, and (2) to the post of Executive Director of the UK Endorsement Board, in 2021 were subject to (a) public advertising, and (b) open competition.

The Government does not hold information relating to the recruitment of staff to the UK Accounting Standards Board which was a Board of the FRC and ceased operating in 2012. All permanent posts for staff recruited to the Secretariat of the UK Endorsement Board are subject to public advertising and open competition.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government for which years did (1) UK Endorsement Board member Mike Ashley act as the KPMG audit partner of HSBC Holdings plc, and (2) UK Endorsement Board Executive Director Seema Jamil O’Neil act as the Senior Manager for the KPMG audit of HSBC Holdings plc.

Information from the UK Endorsement Board website explains that Mike Ashley retired as the Partner and the Head of Quality and Risk Management of KPMG Europe LLP in September 2013, having spent about 35 years with the firm and its predecessor firm, Peat Marwick. The Government does not hold information relating to the specifics of Mr Ashley’s role at KPMG.

The UK Endorsement Board operates independently from the Government. BEIS is therefore unable to provide information relating to members of staff, including information on job history, supporting its work.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK Endorsement Board member Mike Ashley, while also a partner of KPMG, had any involvement in the recruitment of Seema Jamil O’Neil from KPMG to the staff of the Accounting Standards Board.

The Government does not hold information relating to the recruitment of staff to the UK Accounting Standards Board which was a Board of the FRC and ceased operating in 2012.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government for which period did (1) Mike Ashley serve as a member of the Accounting Standards Board, and (2) Seema Jamil O’Neil serve as a member of staff of the Accounting Standards Board.

Mike Ashley was a member of the UK Accounting Standards Board, which was a Board of the FRC, from 2004 to 2010.

BEIS is unable to provide information relating to members of UK Endorsement Board staff, including information on job history, because the UK Endorsement Board operates independently from the Government.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Pauline Wallace, Chair of the UK Endorsement Board, was involved in defending PwC against the Financial Reporting Council’s action in respect of PwC’s audit of Mayflower plc; and if so, whether she worked with Mike Ashley as part of that defence.

Pauline Wallace was at partner at PwC between 2002 and 2013. The judgement for the tribunal between the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board and PwC was provided in 2006 and is available on the FRC’s website. HM Government does not hold information on whether Pauline Wallace had any involvement in the tribunal.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 September 2020 (HL7963) which stated that “calculation of the distributable profits and of a distribution by a public company must be based on the profits of the company as set out in the company’s accounts”, how and when did the discussions of UK Endorsement Board in its adoption of IFRS 17 take that function into account to ensure that accounts of insurance companies are reliable for that function.

The calculation of distributable profits must take the profits of the company as set out in the company’s accounts as its starting point. However, directors must also take into account additional factors set out in Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006. For example, for certain insurance companies that are authorised under the Solvency 2 Directive this includes the factors set out in s833A. The effect of these additional factors is to ensure that a company may only make distributions out of profits available for the purpose. The UK Endorsement Board is only required to assess international accounting standards against the criteria in Regulation 7(1) in SI 2019/685.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board’s analysis for the endorsement of IFRS 17 made no assessment of whether the need to override the application of a standard would be "extremely rare".

The UK Endorsement Board’s Endorsement Criteria Assessment (ECA) for IFRS 17 sets out the results of the UK Endorsement Board’s assessment of the standard against the adoption criteria in SI 2019/685. The ECA states that this assessment has not identified any requirement of IFRS 17 that would prevent individual or consolidated accounts prepared using the standard from giving a true and fair view of the entity’s assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss. Following discussion of this matter by the UK Endorsement Board at its meeting on 9 May 2022, the final version of the ECA makes specific reference to the fact that the UK Endorsement Board is satisfied that the circumstances in which the application of IFRS 17 would result in accounts which did not give a true and fair view would be extremely rare.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board has not commented on (1) the opinion from Mr Todd QC and Mr Rivett, and (2) the other six opinions it placed on its website for the purpose of endorsement of IFRS 17.

The UK Endorsement Board has sought advice to clarify the legal position and the approach to be taken when assessing an international accounting standard against the criteria in Regulation 7(1)(a) of SI 2019/685 (the true and fair view criteria). In April 2022, it obtained an Opinion from Counsel on the interpretation of Regulation 7(1)(a). This Opinion was only one piece of a wide range of information that has been considered by the UK Endorsement Board as part of its responsibilities relating to the endorsement and adoption of international accounting standards.

The UK Endorsement Board website contains links to prior Counsel opinions, that were obtained by a number of different organisations, in order to provide contextual background for stakeholders.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board took no account the two opinions of George Bompas QC in its analysis for the endorsement of IFRS 17 despite linking to those opinions on its website.

The UK Endorsement Board has sought advice to clarify the legal position and the approach to be taken when assessing an international accounting standard against the criteria in Regulation 7(1)(a) of SI 2019/685 (the true and fair view criteria). In April 2022, it obtained an Opinion from Counsel on the interpretation of Regulation 7(1)(a). This Opinion was only one piece of a wide range of information that has been considered by the UK Endorsement Board as part of its responsibilities relating to the endorsement and adoption of international accounting standards.

The UK Endorsement Board website contains links to prior Counsel opinions, that were obtained by a number of different organisations, in order to provide contextual background for stakeholders.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board’s analysis for the endorsement of IFRS 17 made no assessment of the statutory setting in which the endorsement criteria in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/685, sits, including sections 72, 712 and 836 of the Companies Act 2006.

The UK Endorsement Board’s project on adoption of IFRS 17 and its final assessment directly address the adoption criteria and other requirements set out in SI 2019/685. The UK Endorsement Board’s Endorsement Criteria Assessment, available on the UKEB’s website, makes explicit reference to this legislative context.

The sections of the Companies Act 2006 referenced in the question are not specifically matters that the UK Endorsement Board is required to address under the terms of Regulation 7 of SI 2019/685.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board’s analysis for the endorsement of IFRS 17 made no separate assessment of the requirement in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/685, regulation 7(1), which sets out the criteria for the endorsement of an accounting standard.

The UK Endorsement Board undertook a significant project to assess IFRS 17 against the adoption criteria set out in Regulation 7(1) of SI 2019/685, that must be met before an international accounting standard may be adopted for use in the UK. Results of its assessment against those criteria are set out in its Endorsement Criteria Assessment, containing sections specifically addressing each of the Regulation 7(1) adoption criteria. The Endorsement Criteria Assessment can be found on the UKEB’s website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 19 April (HL7620), to set out how the UK Endorsement Board seeks to ensure that the statutory criteria for endorsement have been met.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. I will correspond directly with the noble Baroness.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK Endorsement Board has undertaken an analysis of what constitutes 'reliability' in the context of audited accounts and its endorsement criteria; if not why not; and whether any analysis includes positions from case law of applying the requirements of the Companies Act 2006.

The UK Endorsement Board has been delegated powers to consider new international accounting standards for UK adoption only; it has no remit over audit policy and audit standards.

This includes an assessment of the compatibility of new standards with the requirements of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685 (IAS Regulations). The IAS Regulations require that “the standard meets the criteria of understandability, relevance, reliability and comparability required of the financial information needed for making economic decisions and assessing the stewardship of management.” These requirements were on-shored from EU legislation on the UK’s exit from the EU and have long been understood in the context of adoption of international accounting standards.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK Endorsement Board has undertaken an analysis of what constitutes 'reliability' in the context of audited accounts and its endorsement criteria; and whether any such assessment excludes positions that resemble those of the large accounting firms that were criticised in the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee's report The Future of Audit, published on 2 April 2019.

The UK Endorsement Board has been delegated powers to consider new international accounting standards for UK adoption only; it has no remit over audit policy and audit standards.

This includes an assessment of the compatibility of new standards with the requirements of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685 (IAS Regulations). The IAS Regulations require that “the standard meets the criteria of understandability, relevance, reliability and comparability required of the financial information needed for making economic decisions and assessing the stewardship of management.” These requirements were on-shored from EU legislation on the UK’s exit from the EU and have long been understood in the context of adoption of international accounting standards.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any members of staff supporting the work of the UK Endorsement Board have previously worked for members of the board who are or were partners in (1) PwC, (2) KPMG, or (3) Grant Thornton; and if so, who worked for whom, when, and for how long.

The UK Endorsement Board operates independently from HM Government. BEIS is therefore unable to provide information relating to members of staff, including information on job history, supporting its work.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the High Court judgement on the Royal Bank of Scotland prospectus case (2015 EWHC 3433 C), what assessment they have made of the judgment; whether the UK Endorsement Board consults equity analysts in endorsing accounting standards; and if so, why.

The UK Endorsement Board is required to consult individuals and organisations with an interest in the quality and availability of accounts, including users and preparers of accounts. Regulation 8 of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 sets out the requirements for consultation before adopting an international accounting standard for use in the UK.

The UK Endorsement Board does not exclusively seek views from equity analysts. The Board issues all its consultations on endorsement assessments publicly on its website, to ensure that all stakeholders have an opportunity to respond. All responses are given due consideration and are published on the Board’s website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 22 May 2018 (HL7589), what assessment they have made of the appointment of David Willis to the board of the Financial Reporting Council given his previous role as Chief Executive of a company that was contracted to undertake enforcement work for that body without a tender process.

The recent appointment of FRC Board members was based on merit and capability and undertaken following due process under the Governance Code on Public Appointments which is set by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Due diligence was conducted for all candidates shortlisted for interview in relation to potential conflicts of interest.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Guardian article ‘Standards board “looks like a cabal”’, published on 7 February, whether the National Audit Office has given any opinion on the funding model for the UK Endorsement Board.

The UK Endorsement Board is an unincorporated association and is not subject to audit by the National Audit Office. The Board is subject to Financial Reporting Council (FRC) oversight in respect of its governance and due process. In setting its budget, the UKEB consults with the FRC and follows the FRC’s budgeting processes. The FRC is subject to audits from the National Audit Office.

The FRC’s Chief Executive and Accounting Officer is the UK Endorsement Board’s Accounting Officer.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Guardian article ‘Standards board “looks like a cabal”’, published on 7 February, which person in the Financial Reporting Council is the Accounting Officer responsible for making disbursements on behalf of the UK Endorsement Board; and whether disbursements will be suspended pending an investigation by the National Audit Office into the Board’s activities.

The UK Endorsement Board is an unincorporated association and is not subject to audit by the National Audit Office. The Board is subject to Financial Reporting Council (FRC) oversight in respect of its governance and due process. In setting its budget, the UKEB consults with the FRC and follows the FRC’s budgeting processes. The FRC is subject to audits from the National Audit Office.

The FRC’s Chief Executive and Accounting Officer is the UK Endorsement Board’s Accounting Officer.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 5 March 2018 (HL5587) and to the article in The Times ‘Standards board ‘looks like a cabal’’, published on 7 February, what assessment they have made of whether legal advice obtained from Martin Moore QC for (1) the Financial Reporting Council, or (2) the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, has been (a) properly obtained, (b) independent, and (c) suitable for determining matters of public interest.

The organisations referred to in these questions - the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB), the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) – are responsible for procuring their own legal advice. The FRC which facilitates the UKEB is an arm’s length body which reports annually to the Department on how it has carried out responsibilities under its remit. The ICAEW is an independent organisation.

The issue of whether to publish legal advice is for the respective organisations to consider.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the documents referred to in the article in The Times ‘Standards board ‘looks like a cabal’’, published on 7 February.

The organisations referred to in these questions - the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB), the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) – are responsible for procuring their own legal advice. The FRC which facilitates the UKEB is an arm’s length body which reports annually to the Department on how it has carried out responsibilities under its remit. The ICAEW is an independent organisation.

The issue of whether to publish legal advice is for the respective organisations to consider.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the article in The Times ‘Standards board ‘looks like a cabal’’, published on 7 February, whether they plan to investigate the report that the UK Endorsement Board intended to use Martin Moore QC for legal advice “behind the scenes” despite an acknowledged conflict of interest which prevented him from being formally instructed.

The organisations referred to in these questions - the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB), the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) – are responsible for procuring their own legal advice. The FRC which facilitates the UKEB is an arm’s length body which reports annually to the Department on how it has carried out responsibilities under its remit. The ICAEW is an independent organisation.

The issue of whether to publish legal advice is for the respective organisations to consider.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 7 December (HL4413), what were the legal expenses to date of (1) the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited, and (2) the UK Endorsement Board, by the name of (a) person, or (b) firm engaged; what was the cost of the advice in each case; and what were the dates of completion of tenders for the appointment of each of those engagements.

The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited provides the operational facilities and resources to support the UK Endorsement Board’s activities.

The UK Endorsement Board is an independent unincorporated association and has autonomy of decision-making in relation to the functions conferred upon it. Procurement of legal advice in undertaking those functions is a matter for the UK Endorsement Board and BEIS has no role in this process.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 7 December (HL4416), whether they consider 17 years a reasonable timescale to produce an accounting standard.

I refer the noble Baroness to my previous response to question number HL4416, answered on 7 December 2021.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 7 December (HL4418), for each member of the UK Endorsement Board what (1) training, or (2) experience they have had on corporate finance and solvency; what was the (a) form and (b) level of such training or experience; and when such training or experience was completed.

All members of the UK Endorsement Board were appointed following an open, transparent and rigorous recruitment process. The Board is comprised of a group of experts with a wealth of experience across different sectors including preparers of accounts, investors, academics and members of accounting firms. The Board has a diverse membership with a strong interest in the quality of financial reporting in the UK that will ensure that the UK’s contributions to developments in international accounting standards are world leading. Ongoing training for Board members focuses on new developments in financial and corporate reporting.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 7 December (HL4418), for each member of the UK Endorsement Board what (1) relevant experience, or (2) training, they have had on the accounting standards in the Companies Act 2006 framework; what was the form of any such experience or training; to what level such training or experience was completed; and when such training or experience was completed.

All members of the UK Endorsement Board were appointed following an open, transparent and rigorous recruitment process. The Board is comprised of a group of experts with a wealth of experience across different sectors including preparers of accounts, investors, academics and members of accounting firms. The Board has a diverse membership with a strong interest in the quality of financial reporting in the UK that will ensure that the UK’s contributions to developments in international accounting standards are world leading. Ongoing training for Board members focuses on new developments in financial and corporate reporting.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the White Paper Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance, published in March relies at paragraph 2.2.2 on the Brydon Review of 2019, while (1) the Companies Act 2006 sets out that a company's undistributable reserves include its accumulated unrealised profits, and (2) paragraph 43 of the Financial Reporting Council Bulletin published in March 2020 states that an auditor must undertake "an examination of the relationship between the company’s net assets and it’s called up share capital and undistributable reserves as stated in the audited balance sheet".

There are currently no specific requirements under company law or accounting standards for financial statements to disclose the total amount of profits that are distributable. Some companies do provide these figures, but they are provided on a voluntary basis.

The text quoted in the question relates to the statement an auditor is required to make to a company under section 92 of the Companies Act 2006 when a private company re-registers as a public company. It does not establish a requirement for the company to disclose its undistributable reserves.

The Government White Paper, Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance, set out proposals to require companies, within an agreed scope, to disclose the total amount of reserves that are distributable. The Government will respond to the White Paper consultation in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 22 November (HL3771), what assessment they have made of (1) the UK Endorsement Board's objectives for its endorsement activities, (2) the risk of the Board being subject to regulatory capture, (3) conflicts of interest among the legal advisers to the Board, and (4) the process for appointments to the Board.

The UK Endorsement Board’s (UKEB) objectives for its endorsement activities are set out in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. The UKEB Terms of Reference further elaborate on how my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State expects it to undertake those activities. The UKEB is obliged to report annually to the Secretary of State on the discharge of its delegated functions. This report is laid before Parliament.

Ensuring the independence of the UKEB was a key priority when it was established. Oversight of UKEB’s governance and due process is provided by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) but its technical decision-making is independent of the FRC.

UKEB Board members are required to complete a Register of Interests, available on the UKEB website.

The Chair of the UKEB is to be appointed by the Secretary of State, following a fair and open recruitment process led by the BEIS Public Appointments, in line with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code for Public Appointments. The appointment of Board members also follows the process set out in the code, with appointments made by the Chair of the UKEB with the approval of the Secretary of State.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 22 November (HL3771), what assessment they have made of the reasons why the IFRS Foundation has taken 17 years to develop and publish IFRS 17.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is an independent international body, which sets its own agenda and timetable.

Insurance companies across the world use a wide variety of accounting practices when reporting the financial position and performance of their businesses. Achieving a standardised approach to reporting financial position and performance for a global industry with such diverse accounting practices takes considerable time and resources.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan  on 22 November (HL3771), what assessment they have made of the critiques by the Penrose Inquiry into Equitable Life summarised in points (a) – (e) of Appendix IV paragraph 1.6 of FRS 27 of December 2004; and for each point, how they have addressed it with the IFRS Foundation; and if any points have not been addressed, why not.

FRS 27 has addressed many of the critiques made by the Penrose Inquiry in the development of IFRS 17, except for the differences between the accounting bases for regulatory and financial reporting. Insurance is inherently a complex business so some complexity in the related financial reporting is inevitable. However, a standardised basis for financial reporting will go a long way to addressing concerns related to complexity.

The Penrose Inquiry also identified regulatory failures to restrain the hazardous conduct of firms and to protect stakeholders. The Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) took the recommendations from the report to enhance the solvency and liquidity requirements and set other boundaries more tightly in the Solvency II legislation.

The accounting basis for regulatory purposes is not within the remit of the IFRS Foundation and regulatory reporting is not designed to report performance. The Prudential Regulatory Authority has responsibility for promoting the safety and soundness of insurers and the protection of policy holders.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 18 November (HL3768), why the procurement of legal advice by Katherine Coates is a matter for the unincorporated UK Endorsement Board given that the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 22 November (HL3859) states that the UK Endorsement Board does not have autonomy for its economic activity and procurement, spending controls and due process are matters for the Financial Reporting Council and its incorporated subsidiary the UK Endorsement Board Limited.

The UK Endorsement Board is an independent unincorporated association and has autonomy of decision-making in relation to the functions conferred upon it. Procurement of legal advice in undertaking those functions is a matter for the UK Endorsement Board.

The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited, an incorporated subsidiary of the Financial Reporting Council, provides the operational facilities and resources to support the UK Endorsement Board’s activities. This maintains the independence of the UK Endorsement Board’s technical decision-making.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 22 November (HL3771), what is the (1) relevance of, and (2) the need for, the IRFS Foundation producing IFRS 17 "in order to make insurers’ financial statements more useful for users of financial statements”, when no such objective or endorsement criteria is contained in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

The IFRS Foundation is an independent international body. The Foundation’s mission is to produce high quality international standards that bring transparency, comparability, and efficiency to financial markets. As an international body the Foundation is not bound by UK legislation when setting future work priorities.

In the UK, the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) is responsible for adoption and endorsement of new or amended international accounting standards, issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for use by UK companies.

The UKEB consults publicly with stakeholders that have an interest in financial reporting in the UK so that it can develop and represent evidence-based UK views with the aim of acting as the UK voice on IFRS financial reporting. The UKEB’s draft assessment of IFRS 17 is currently open for stakeholder consultation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 22 November (HL3771), and Lord Henley on 30 January 2019 (HL12948 and HL12949) and 27 February 2019 (HL13690), what assessment they have made of the compatibility of the objectives in IFRS17 with (1) the need for capital maintenance, creditor and shareholder protection for the purposes of the Companies Act 2006, and (2) the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Ensuring adequate company capital is maintained to comply with the Companies Act 2006 creditor and shareholder protection requirements is part of a company’s directors’ duties.

The Government’s White Paper, Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance set out proposals for increasing confidence that the capital maintenance laws are being complied with, including proposals to require companies to report their distributable reserves and for directors to make a formal statement about the legality of proposed dividends. We are considering responses to the White Paper and will publish our conclusions in due course.

The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) has been delegated powers to consider new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for UK adoption. This includes an assessment of the compatibility of new standards with the requirements of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685. The UKEB’s draft assessment of IFRS 17 against the criteria in that legislation is currently open for consultation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 22 November (HL3771) and (HL3859), what assessment they have made of the risk of the (1) UK Endorsement Board, and (2) Financial Reporting Council, wasting public money by following the wrong objectives in undertaking endorsement activities; and what safeguards they have put in place to mitigate any such risks.

The Secretary of State set Terms of Reference for the UK Endorsement Board which direct it to adhere to the guiding principles of accountability, independence, transparency and thought leadership. This includes the need for the UKEB to adhere to Managing Public Money principles. Further, the UKEB is required to report annually to the Secretary of State on how it is discharging its functions. This report will be laid in Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 30 January 2019 (HL12948), when the accounting framework for the purposes of sections 92, 498 (1) and (2), 519, 714(4), 836, and 837 of the Companies Act 2006 will be considered by the UK Endorsement Board to ensure that the detailed rules of IFRS 17 do not run contrary to those sections.

The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) has been delegated powers to consider International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for endorsement and adoption in the UK. This is to ensure that the financial information presented by the companies required by section 403(1) of the Companies Act 2006 to prepare their group accounts in accordance with UK-adopted international accounting standards.

The UKEB’s draft Endorsement Criteria Assessment against the adoption criteria for IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts was published for public consultation on 11 November 2021. The consultation will be open until 3 February 2022.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when (1) the UK Endorsement Board, and (2) the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited, commenced outreach activities on the endorsement of accounting standards.

The UK Endorsement Board formally commenced outreach activities following the inaugural Board meeting on 26th March 2021.

Prior to the UK Endorsement Board being formed, the Secretary of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) held the powers to formally adopt accounting standards for use in the UK. During this period, the UK Endorsement Board Secretariat worked with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and BEIS to develop endorsement and adoption advice for consideration by the Secretary of State. This included outreach activities.

The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the FRC. It does not undertake any functions to which outreach activities are relevant.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when (1) the UK Endorsement Board, and (2) the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited, were required to register with the Information Commissioner for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018.

The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board began to process personal data when its Board Members were appointed on 11th March 2021. The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited began to process personal data when it held the inaugural meeting of its Directors on 25th October 2021.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when (1) the UK Endorsement Board, and (2) the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited, registered with the Information Commissioner for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018.

The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board was entered on the data protection register on 5th July 2021. The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board Limited was entered on the data protection register on 16th September 2021.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Callanan on 28 October (HL3092, HL3093, HL3094 and HL3095) whether (1) the UK Endorsement Board Limited, and (2) the UK Endorsement Board, are public bodies and subject to all the requirements incumbent on public bodies; and if not, why not.

The UK Endorsement Board Limited is a subsidiary of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). As such, it is also subject to the requirements incumbent on central government bodies, such as Managing Public Money and Cabinet Office spending controls.

The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) (“the Board”) is an unincorporated association. The Secretary of State has delegated the powers to adopt and endorse IFRS for use in the UK to the Board. While the Board is independent and has autonomy of decision-making in relation to the functions conferred upon it, this decision-making autonomy does not extend more widely to economic activities.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the effects of IFRS 17 on the profits of the inherited estate of insurance companies, and (2) the reported remarks by Peter Drummond that IFRS 17 allows profits to be recognised in the accounts of insurance companies before the shareholders are entitled to those profits, and that this estate may amount to £30bn for the three main insurers.

The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) is in the process of assessing IFRS 17 for use in the UK. The criteria for their assessment is set out in The International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685. The UKEB is expected to publish its draft Endorsement Criteria Assessment for public consultation, shortly. This draft assessment is expected to include consideration of the effects of IFRS 17 on the profits of inherited estates of insurance companies.

Peter Drummond fed back the views that had been received by the FRC in discussions on the IFRS standard. The ‘reported remarks’ do not reflect the view of the UKEB Secretariat or the UKEB Board but of certain stakeholders; such views have been considered by the UKEB along with other evidence. The outcome of this consideration will be set out in the draft Endorsement Criteria Assessment, when it is issued for public consultation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 28 October (HL3092), what assessment they have made of (1) the discussion between Katherine Coates and Martin Moore QC about obtaining a legal opinion for the UK Endorsement Board, and (2) the reasons for the UK Endorsement Board deciding to use Michael Todd QC instead of Martin Moore QC.

The UK Endorsement Board is an independent, unincorporated association which will report annually on the carrying out of its functions to the Secretary of State. This report will be laid in Parliament. The Board is also required to report annually to the FRC which has oversight of its governance and adherence to due process.

Procurement of legal advice is a matter for the UK Endorsement Board.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conclusion by the UK Endorsement Board in Paragraph 27 of its endorsement assessment for IFRS 16 that the test required by Paragraph 1(c) of Regulation 7 of The International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685 had been met and that hence the true and fair view test required by Paragraph 1(a) of that Regulation had been met.

The International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685, regulation 7, paragraph 1(a) sets out the “true and fair” adoption criterion.

The endorsement assessment referred to in these questions was included in an Endorsement Criteria Assessment provided by the UK Endorsement Board Secretariat for consideration as a part of the Government’s formal adoption decision.

The Government’s assessment applied the three adoption criteria set out in regulation 7.

The IASB amendment Covid-19-Related Rent Concessions beyond 30 June 2021 (Amendment to IFRS 16) extends the date a lessee is permitted to apply a practical expedient to rent concessions that meet certain conditions, from on or before 30 June 2021, to on or before 30 June 2022. This was an extension to a Covid-19-related exemption provided to help shield companies from the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Government understands that the UK Endorsement Board Secretariat’s draft Endorsement Criteria Assessment was published for comment and no comments were received on that paragraph.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement by the UK Endorsement Board in Paragraph 27 of its endorsement assessment for IFRS 16 that the test required by Paragraph 1(c) of Regulation 7 of The International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685 was a “true and fair view of the accounts as a whole” when Paragraph 1(c) and Section 393 Companies Act 2006 require a “true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss”.

The International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 No. 685, regulation 7, paragraph 1(a) sets out the “true and fair” adoption criterion.

The endorsement assessment referred to in these questions was included in an Endorsement Criteria Assessment provided by the UK Endorsement Board Secretariat for consideration as a part of the Government’s formal adoption decision.

The Government’s assessment applied the three adoption criteria set out in regulation 7.

The IASB amendment Covid-19-Related Rent Concessions beyond 30 June 2021 (Amendment to IFRS 16) extends the date a lessee is permitted to apply a practical expedient to rent concessions that meet certain conditions, from on or before 30 June 2021, to on or before 30 June 2022. This was an extension to a Covid-19-related exemption provided to help shield companies from the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Government understands that the UK Endorsement Board Secretariat’s draft Endorsement Criteria Assessment was published for comment and no comments were received on that paragraph.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which of the deficiencies in insurance company accounting that were identified by the Penrose Inquiry into Equitable Life have been dealt with by the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation; how they were dealt with; and if they were not dealt with, why not.

The Penrose Inquiry into Equitable Life focussed on UK financial and regulatory reporting in the years leading up to 2001, and how they related to the Equitable Life Assurance Society.

The Inquiry identified that life insurance company accounts needed a consistent and realistic accounting basis for the preparation of accounts. They recommended the creation of consistent standards for the preparation and presentation of accounts for long term business. The IFRS Foundation has stated that this was a key aim when developing and publishing IFRS17. In order to make insurers’ financial statements more useful for users of financial statements.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place copies of the tender documentation of the UK Endorsement Board for the procurement of legal advice and legal opinions in the Library of the House.

The UK Endorsement Board is an independent, unincorporated association which will report annually on the carrying out of its functions to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State. This report will also be laid in Parliament. Procurement of legal advice is a matter for the UK Endorsement Board.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, the UK Endorsement Board have made of any potential conflict of interest of instructing Martin Moore QC to work on the endorsement of accounting standards either (1) directly, or (2) indirectly.

The UK Endorsement Board is an independent, unincorporated association which will report annually on the carrying out of its functions to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State. This report will also be laid in Parliament.

The UK Endorsement Board does not intend to seek advice from Martin Moore QC in the course of developing its endorsement assessment of international accounting standards either (1) directly, or (2) indirectly.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK Endorsement Board has sought the advice of Martin Moore QC in the course of seeking endorsement of for its accounting standards either (1) directly, or (2) indirectly through Michael Todd QC.

The UK Endorsement Board is an independent, unincorporated association which will report annually on the carrying out of its functions to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State. This report will also be laid in Parliament.

The UK Endorsement Board does not intend to seek advice from Martin Moore QC in the course of developing its endorsement assessment of international accounting standards either (1) directly, or (2) indirectly.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the UK Endorsement Board is not using in-house counsel to instruct barristers for public interest legal advice; and why they are instead using Katherine Coates.

Procurement of legal advice is a matter for the UK Endorsement Board.

Any instructions to Counsel will be provided by in-house authorised persons at the UK Endorsement Board.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 26 April 2018 (HL7046), whether they will publish terms of reference for the UK Endorsement Board that are (1) not subject to legal professional privilege, and (2) developed independently of (a) current, or (b) former, advisers to accounting firms which have contributed to accounting standards.

The Terms of Reference for the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) were set by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and agreed by the UKEB at their inaugural meeting on 26 March. A copy has been published on the UKEB’s website (please see attached).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 26 April 2018 (HL7046), whether they will require the UK Endorsement Board to publish terms of reference that are (1) not subject to legal professional privilege, (2) developed independently of (a) current, or (b) former, advisers to accounting firms which have contributed to accounting standards.

The Terms of Reference for the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) were set by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and agreed by the UKEB at their inaugural meeting on 26 March. A copy has been published on the UKEB’s website (please see attached).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the effect of implementing IFRS 17 in the UK on the reported capital of insurance companies, and (2) the financial effect of implementing IFRS 17 for the 10 largest insurance companies in the UK; and, if they have made no such assessments, why not.

While the responsibility for adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) sits with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Endorsement Board secretariat has been tasked with assessing IFRS 17 (the new accounting standard relating to insurance contracts) against the adoption criteria set out in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Planning for the work required to assess the standard against those criteria is underway. It is expected to include outreach with representatives from stakeholder groups across the UK’s insurance sector, including preparers of financial statements. It will also encompass an Impact Assessment of the standard which will include consideration of the financial effect of implementing IFRS 17, including on capital included in the accounts, for those entities that apply IFRS. These include the largest insurance companies in the UK. The results of the assessment of IFRS 17 against the adoption criteria will be published ahead of any adoption of the standard.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the involvement of the insurance sector and the Investment Association in their decision to endorse the IFRS 17 financial reporting standard; whether the Investment Association will be excluded from endorsement activities in connection with this standard; and if so, how.

IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts has not yet been adopted for use in the UK. The International Accounting Standards Board has set an effective date of 1 January 2023 for the standard internationally. Planning for the work to assess the standard has commenced and it will be assessed against the adoption criteria set out in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

Those Regulations oblige the Secretary of State to consult such persons as are considered to be representative of those with an interest in the quality and availability of accounts, including users and preparers of accounts. We expect that the Investment Association will have an interest in the quality of accounts prepared by companies as it represents investment managers who manage over £8.5 trillion of assets on behalf of clients in the UK and around the world. As a result, we expect outreach activities, when finalised, to include input from many user representatives including the Investment Association.

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 24 September (HL8051), what progress they have made on forming an agreement with the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation; and when preparations for any such agreement began.

The Government has reached an agreement with the IFRS Foundation to publish a consolidated text of UK-adopted international accounting standards and the agreement will be signed shortly.

The Government began preparations for an agreement in January 2019.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the role of the UK Endorsement Board in insurance accounting; what authority the Board has to exercise its functions; what is the composition of the Board; and how the Board is funded.

We intend to lay an SI in early 2021 that will delegate certain functions in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (‘the 2019 Regulations’), including powers to endorse and adopt International Accounting Standards, to the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board (UK EB). This includes International Accounting Standards (such as IFRS 17 – Insurance Contracts) that relate to insurance.

Following the appointment of the Chair, we are now preparing to recruit Board Members. We intend that membership of the Board will include preparers of accounts, investors and other users of accounts, academics and members of accounting firms. This will ensure that the UK EB brings a broad range of experience, backgrounds and expertise to the consideration of International Accounting Standards.

The UK EB will undertake its activities in a transparent manner, and it will be required both to consult before adopting an international standard and to publish the reasons for its decision to adopt an International Accounting Standard in whole or in part. The statutory criteria for adoption are set out in the 2019 Regulations. The UK EB will obtain independent advice when necessary and all Board Members will be required to abide by a conflicts of interests policy.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK Endorsement Board will be provided with publicly available legal advice to deliver the required endorsement criteria for the adoption of International Accounting Standards; and what processes they have in place to ensure that this advice will be free from conflicts of interest.

We intend to lay an SI in early 2021 that will delegate certain functions in the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (‘the 2019 Regulations’), including powers to endorse and adopt International Accounting Standards, to the UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board (UK EB). This includes International Accounting Standards (such as IFRS 17 – Insurance Contracts) that relate to insurance.

Following the appointment of the Chair, we are now preparing to recruit Board Members. We intend that membership of the Board will include preparers of accounts, investors and other users of accounts, academics and members of accounting firms. This will ensure that the UK EB brings a broad range of experience, backgrounds and expertise to the consideration of International Accounting Standards.

The UK EB will undertake its activities in a transparent manner, and it will be required both to consult before adopting an international standard and to publish the reasons for its decision to adopt an International Accounting Standard in whole or in part. The statutory criteria for adoption are set out in the 2019 Regulations. The UK EB will obtain independent advice when necessary and all Board Members will be required to abide by a conflicts of interests policy.

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 24 September (HL8051), what is the proposed fee payable to the International Accounting Standards Board; and how that fee will be funded.

The fee payable to the IFRS foundation is commercially sensitive and falls below the public disclosure threshold. The Government believes that the agreement with the IFRS Foundation reflects good value for money due to the wide use and acceptance of IFRS amongst the major financial capitals across the world, and the fact that the Standards promote transparency and investment. The agreement also ensures that the UK will be able to continue to influence the independent, not-for-profit, global standard setting body, to ensure that Standards meet the needs of UK companies and investors.

The inaugural fee will be funded by Government and our intention is that future payments will come from the FRC’s general levy on preparers of accounts.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 September (HL7963), whether the model being used by the International Standards Board to set international accounting standards produces numbers which enable the provisions of the kind set out in section 841(2)(b) of the Companies Act 2006 which are designed to ensure compliance with section 830 of that Act; and if not, (1) what model the Board is using, and (2) when the Board decided to adopt that model.

UK legislation set out in Part 15 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA06), requires certain companies to use EU-adopted international accounting standards, to produce their accounts. After the end of the transition period, UK companies will be required to use UK-adopted international accounting standards. Part 15 gives an overriding requirement that the accounts must give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the company.

International accounting standards require companies to recognise provisions (liabilities) where specific conditions are met. When a company uses international accounting standards accounts to make a distribution, Section 841(2)(b) of CA06 requires those provisions to be treated as realised losses (except revaluation provisions).

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 16 September (HL7849), whether (1) the Secretary of State, (2) the UK Endorsement Board, (3) the International Accounting Standards Board, or (4) the auditors and directors for not using the true and fair view override, would be responsible for defects in the UK-adopted international accounting standards.

The act of bringing into UK law all existing EU-adopted international accounting standards at the end of the transition period has been approved by Parliament.

Thereafter, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State will be responsible for ensuring that any international accounting standards adopted in the UK after the end of the transition period meet the criteria set out in regulations 7 and 8 of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, using the powers granted to the Secretary of State under regulation 6 of those regulations. The UK Accounting Standards Endorsement Board will take on this responsibility once endorsement and adoption functions have been delegated to it under regulation 13 of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. However, the Secretary of State will retain the ability to revoke the delegation if it is deemed necessary.

Auditors and directors will remain responsible for ensuring that an individual company’s accounts give a true and fair view of the company’s assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 8 September (HL7080), whether they informed either House that an agreement would be needed with, and there would be an uncapped unspecified fee payable to, a company registered in Delaware for making instruments of UK law available to the public when the European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 were before Parliament; if not, why not; and whether Ministers were aware of this fact; and if so, when they became aware.

The Government’s proposed agreement with the IFRS Foundation is a minor administrative matter. This is required to enable the UK’s adoption and endorsement of international accounting standards following the end of the Transition Period. All jurisdictions which use international accounting standards, including the EU, require such agreements with the IFRS Foundation.

The proposed fee applicable is in line with HM Treasury guidance.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 8 September (HL7080), whether this example of Parliament not maintaining copyright over the publication of UK-adopted international accounting standards has a precedent; and if not, what other examples there are where they have granted the copyright of the publication of laws passed by the UK Parliament to (1) companies registered in Delaware, or (2) any other third party organisations.

We are required, by the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, to publish a consolidated text of UK-adopted international accounting standards. Each jurisdiction which requires the use of international accounting standards has a licence agreement with the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, who develop the standards and own the copyright for them.

An agreement between the Government and the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation has not been finalised and, therefore, further detail may not be disclosed at this time. However, the agreement is a licence to allow the use of material and definitions, protected under copyright.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 6 August (HL7506), and in the light of the fact that the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has indicated that a 'true and fair' override exists in both UK law and the standards of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), why the FRC's Accounting and Reporting Policy Team’s remit to follow and comment on the work of the IASB as it develops International Financial Reporting Standards prevents the FRC from issuing guidance on the application of a 'true and fair' view; and why this issue has not been resolved following the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee's report Future of Audit, published in April 2019.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued a paper on ‘true and fair’ accounting in June 2014.

Sir Donald Brydon made recommendations on ‘true and fair’ in his report on the Quality and Effectiveness of Audit. The Government is currently considering the full package of reforms needed following the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee's report Future of Audit, Sir Donald Brydon’s report, Sir John Kingman’s Independent review of Financial Reporting Council and the Competition and Markets Authority’s Market study of the audit market. The Government will publish our proposals for reform in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the numerical outcomes that the International Standards Board seeks to achieve from accounts prepared using its accounting standards system are the same as those numerical outcomes for accounts (1) set out in section 836 of the Companies Act 2006 in respect of assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss, and (2) for the capital maintenance purpose set out in Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006; and if they are not the same numerical outcomes, (a) what such outcomes are being sought, (b) what was the basis for deciding those outcomes, (c) when was that decided, and (d) by whom.

The Companies Act 2006, Part 15, requires that company accounts must be prepared in accordance with accounting standards, with the overriding requirement that they must give a true and fair view of the company’s finances. The directors also have a legal duty to ensure that the requirements on capital maintenance and distributable profits in Part 23 of the Companies Act 2006 are followed. Although the calculation of the distributable profits and of a distribution by a public company must be based on the profits of the company as set out in the company’s accounts, it must take into account additional factors set out in Part 23, such as those set out in s841 in relation to realised losses and profits. The effect of these additional factors is to ensure that a company may only make distributions out of profits available for the purpose, as set out in s830.

All requirements set out above arise from the Companies Act 2006.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why UK accounting standard FRS102 states that copyright of the standard remains with the International Accounting Standards Board; and whether they plan to place a copy of any contractual agreement with that Board, including sums required to be paid, in the library of the House.

The front cover of UK accounting standard FRS 102 states that copyright in FRS 102 belongs to the Financial Reporting Council. The document also states that the standard contains material in which the IFRS Foundation holds copyright, and which has been reproduced with its permission.

The license agreement between the Government and the IFRS Foundation has not been finalised and we are not able to comment further on the content of the agreement.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the International Accounting Standard (1) requires companies to classify and present in their balance sheet property that they rent and do not own as if they owned those assets with the right to sell those assets, and (2) removes rental payments from the profit and loss account and replaces it with a charge for depreciation for assets they do not own and have no right to sell.

For many years both UK GAAP and International Accounting Standards have required entities to account for some leases by recognising both the asset utilised by the business and the liability to pay for it on the balance sheet. The asset represents the right to use that asset for the period of the lease, and this ensures the users of accounts can clearly identify the company’s control (exclusive right of use asset) of that property over that time period, intended to reflect where the risks and rewards lie. Recent changes to international accounting standards mean that since 2019 more leases are now recognised on balance sheet by lessees, providing a more complete picture of the financial position of an entity, and greater comparability between entities that borrow to buy assets and those that lease assets. As a result, the profit & loss charge in relation to that leased property includes depreciation of the leased asset as well as an interest expense on the lease liability.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether existing rights of access to all UK legislation will apply to UK-adopted international standards, including the full and free right (1) to copy, publish, distribute and transmit the information, (2) to adapt the information, and (3) to exploit the information commercially and non-commercially, including by (a) combining it with other information, or (b) including it in products or applications.

After the end of the transition period, the Government will publish UK-adopted international accounting standards in accordance with the publication requirements in regulation 9 of the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, including the requirement to publish a consolidated text of UK-adopted international accounting standards as a whole.

UK-adopted international accounting standards will not be legislation themselves; rights as to their use will be subject to any license agreement agreed with the IFRS Foundation. Such agreement has not been finalised and we are not able to comment further on the content of the agreement.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) KPMG, and (2) the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, are involved in any of their work dealing with international accounting standards and dividends payments; and if so, what assessment they have made of whether such involvement is appropriate in the light of reports that the Official Receiver is seeking to take action against KPMG over alleged negligence in its audits of Carillion.

The Government announced as part of its response to the consultation on Insolvency and Corporate Governance that it would look further at options for strengthening of the legal framework governing dividend payments in a proportionate way. In that context, the Department asked the ICAEW for technical advice on ways in which potential new distributable reserves disclosure requirements might be framed. The ICAEW was also asked to consider how its Guidance on Realised and Distributable Profits (Tech 02/17BL) might be simplified and clarified. It has subsequently published an Introduction to the Law on Dividends which includes an explanation of the role and content of its technical guidance.

The Government believes that it is appropriate to receive views and advice on accountancy matters from a wide and balanced range of expert stakeholders including the ICAEW and KPMG. In relation to international accounting standards, members of KPMG and ICAEW have attended meetings and have input into discussions and consultations since the standards were introduced in the UK.

Consistent with his duties as a liquidator, the Official Receiver has investigated whether Carillion may have a claim against KPMG for losses resulting from the conduct of its statutory audit and is considering pursuing a claim in this regard. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the probity of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation following the case of ZAO Askeri-ACCA v International Accounting Standards Committee Foundations ([2004] EWHC 2939 (Ch)); and what plans they have to conclude such an assessment before committing any taxpayer funds to the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation.

The Government is discussing a license agreement for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) with the IFRS Foundation. We are content that we will be able to conclude a legally satisfactory agreement. This is in line with the Government’s commitment to maintain use of IFRS after the end of the Transition Period.

The case of ZAO Askeri-ACCA v International Accounting Standards Committee Foundations ([2004] EWHC 2939 (Ch)) was heard 16 years ago regarding a contract with the IFRS Foundation’s predecessor organisation. The Government does not believe this case to be relevant to any discussions between the Government and the IFRS Foundation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to conduct an investigation into (1) past inconsistencies in the registered addresses and the address for legal service of documents of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation, and (2) alleged conflicts of interest in the award of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation’s translation contracts, before committing any tax-payer funds to that Foundation.

Companies House records show that the IFRS Foundation is registered in Delaware and based in London. The Government hopes that the IFRS Foundation will continue to be based in London, as this will continue to recognise the UK’s world leading role in accounting standards and practice. The Government has no oversight role for the IFRS Foundation, which is the responsibility of its Monitoring Board, comprising of a number of international securities regulators.

The Government is not aware of any alleged conflicts of interest that are referred to in the question.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the consistency of the use of current market values in company accounts with the preparation of accounts on a going concern basis; and what assessment they have made of the adequacy of international accounting standards on current market values, following the collapse of companies such as Carillion and Thomas Cook which applied these standards.

BEIS and the FRC are responsible for UK accounting standards as set out in the Companies Act 2006. The FRC’s Accounting and Reporting Policy Team’s remit is to follow and comment on the work of the IASB as it develops IFRS. The FRC regularly discuss improvements and amendments to standards with the IASB and responds to consultations in the light of discussions with stakeholders.

At the end of the Transition Period, the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) will work directly with IASB as part of their responsibilities for endorsing and adopting IFRS for the UK. One of the key responsibilities of the UKEB will be to ensure that adopting IFRS are in the UK’s public interest.

The investigations into Carillion and Thomas Cook are ongoing. We will consider the outcome of these investigations and where necessary bring findings to the attention of the IASB.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy research paper Stakeholder perceptions of non-financial reporting, published in October 2019, (1) why they commissioned PwC to undertake this research; (2) whether the tendering process took account of any financial interest PwC had in non-financial reporting systems relating to that company’s audit services; (3) why the paper does not specify (a) which stakeholders were involved in the research, and (b) how they were selected; (4) what assessment they have made of the relative benefits of UK-led non-financial reporting standards compared to international standards; and (5) what assessment they have made of the difficulty in reaching a consensus on common international standards for non-financial reporting of (a) human rights, and (b) climate change, impacts.

The PWC research was commissioned to inform work on a post-implementation review of non-financial reporting regulations, covering:

a) the 2013 regulations which required all companies, apart from those subject to the small companies’ exemption, to produce strategic reports, and

b) the 2016 non-financial reporting regulations which required all large (>500 employees) Public Interest Entities to report on environmental, social and community matters to the extent necessary for an understanding of the company’s development, performance and position, and the impact of their activities.

The research project was put out to tender in line with the Public Procurement Guidelines. BEIS received two bids to carry out the work and PWC was selected as the preferred contractor, based on the quality of the bid including their expertise. The project was managed by a social researcher who agreed all details related to the methodology and its implementation. The focus of the report was on stakeholder and company perceptions of the regulations and their impact in general and did not use, or consider the use of, non-financial reporting systems by PwC or any other company.

For the qualitative interviews, the Department selected stakeholders covering a likely cross section of views, including a range of investor groups and non-profit and professional bodies and they are listed on page 12 of the report. The stakeholder interviews were intended to complement the quantitative survey of over 100 companies, who provided their views on a confidential basis.

Although different reporting frameworks and international standards were not a focus of the 2019 research, the UK Government supports the use of international frameworks or standards for reporting on non-financial issues where this is possible. We have commissioned further research, which will include looking at the role of domestic and international reporting frameworks.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there will be any licensing charges or similar arrangements for the publication of accounting standards endorsed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019; if so, what are any such arrangements and charges; and whether those arrangements and charges were agreed (1) before, or (2) after, the approval by Parliament of those Regulations.

The Government has held discussions with the IFRS Foundation for a license to publish UK-adopted international accounting standards as required by the International Accounting Standards and European Public Limited-Liability Company (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. These discussions commenced early in 2019.

Work on this agreement is at an advanced stage and will be concluded ready to come into effect at the end of the transition period. A licensing fee will form part of the agreement. However, as the agreement has not been finalised, we cannot disclose further detail at this time.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether some banks are requiring companies to freeze all loans and leasing with other financing institutions before agreeing loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and whether they consider such conditions are appropriate in the context of an 80 per cent guarantee from them.

Since the launch of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Government has worked closely with the financial services sector to ensure that companies receive the full benefits from this support.

Accredited lenders are responsible for providing loans under the CBILS. Lending decisions on whether a business is eligible to access the CBILS are fully delegated to the accredited lenders, and individual lending decisions remain at the discretion of these lenders.

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State continues to work with banks and other finance providers to help SMEs access the finance they need and has discussed with these organisations the alternative forms of support for businesses that they are offering. The Government welcomed the statement by UK Finance on behalf of the financial sector which announced that banks, building societies and credit card providers are committed to supporting their business customers in continuing to trade.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether it is appropriate for banks to make discretionary charges for any personal contact for the arrangement of coronavirus business loans; and whether there are any conditions on the fees that are covered under the scheme.

Under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) the Government will make a payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any facility arrangement fees charged by lenders, so businesses will benefit from lower upfront costs and initial repayments.

The exact terms of each loan under the CBILS are delegated to the 50+ accredited lenders and will vary from lender to lender. However, the Government expects that the benefit of the guarantee under the CBILS is fully reflected in the interest that is charged on the CBILS facility. This expectation is re-enforced by the State aid rules that also require this.

If businesses are worried about the specific terms of finance facilities available under this scheme, they should speak to their usual lender.

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State continues to hold a dialogue with all major CBILS lenders to monitor the implementation of the scheme.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the requirement on the British Business Bank website that Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme loans must ‘have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the pandemic’ means that loans required to assist with the situation caused by the pandemic and lockdown are not eligible; and if so, how that has been communicated to businesses.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus. In order for a business to be eligible for the CBILS, it must be considered “viable” by the lender prior to the onset of Covid-19. The lender must consider that the applicant (or its business group) has a viable business proposition determined by the lender’s underwriting policies.

The viability test was amended in April to remove the requirement for lenders to include a ‘forward-looking’ element, which required an assessment of whether the business can trade out of the Covid-19 crisis. This means that any concerns over its short-to-medium term business performance due to the uncertainty and impact of COVID-19 cannot be taken into account when a lender is considering an application for loan. The applicant however must still satisfy the other eligibility criteria of the CBILS.

For smaller value facilities (e.g. those of £30,000 or below), in determining the eligibility of the applicant, lenders may decide to determine the applicant’s credit worthiness based on its internal credit scoring models.

Changes have also been made to the eligibility criterion which previously required the applicant (or its business group) to have a business proposition that can reasonably be expected to enable it to meet its repayment obligations under a proposed facility.

Since the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was launched, Government has listened to feedback from stakeholders and made changes to ensure that loans are processed as quickly as possible and businesses get the support they need. These changes include:

  • Extending the scheme so that all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19 are eligible;
  • Removing previous restrictions on the following groups to enable them to access the CBILS, subject to other eligibility criteria being met: Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisations and trade unions;
  • Removing the ability for lenders to ask for personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and reducing the personal guarantee for loans over £250,000 to 20% of the outstanding balance after recoveries;
  • Introducing technical changes to ensure that applications will be processed faster;
  • Removing the forward-looking viability test; and
  • Removing the per lender portfolio cap.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the requirement for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme applications to include a business plan means that cashflow statements are required; and if so, what assessment they have made of whether it is appropriate to request such cash flow statements when the effect and duration of the pandemic is unclear.

Since the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was launched, Government has listened to feedback from stakeholders and made changes to ensure that loans are processed as quickly as possible and businesses get the support they need.

Government has removed the forward-looking viability test that required an assessment of whether the business can trade out of the crisis. The only test that remains is whether a business was viable before Covid-19.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, any conditionality by the lender is permitted for the bounce back micro-loans; and whether that funding is automatic following ticks on an application form.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme has been designed to enable businesses to access finance quickly. Businesses are required to complete an online application form, which is expected to be assessed by their lender within a matter of days. In some instances, the lender may ask a business for additional information, such as an HMRC self-assessment tax return to verify its status as a business.

Businesses from all sectors can apply for a facility. The business must self-certify to its lender the following:

  • Confirm it is UK-based in its business activity, and established by 1 March 2020;
  • Confirm it has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19);
  • Confirm it is not currently using a government-backed Coronavirus loan scheme (unless using BBLS to refinance a whole facility); and
  • Confirm it is not in bankruptcy, liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring.
Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether money laundering checks are impeding businesses from approaching alternative lenders to their own bank for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; what percentage of loans are granted via applications to a different lender; and whether in-person presentation and certifications are required for money laundering checks to be carried out.

It is important that thorough due diligence is conducted by lenders as part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Businesses are free to apply for a CBILS facility from any of the 50+ accredited lenders. Lending decisions are fully delegated to the lenders. As such, money laundering checks are subject to each lender’s internal policy. The robustness of these policies is thoroughly tested before a lender can become accredited to CBILS.

The British Business Bank does not hold information regarding an applicant’s banking or borrowing history.

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 ensure that pub owners who own three or less public houses with a total annual rental income of less than £100,000 are exempted from any plans to waive public house rentals during the COVID-19 pandemic; what plans they have to support such owners if their tenants are unable to pay rent during the pandemic; and what assessment they have made of whether it is compliant with the Human Rights Act 1998 to impose the suspension of rent without payment being deferred and without offering compensation.

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for the pub sector. The majority of landlords and tenants are working well together to reach agreements on debt obligations. While landlords are urged to give their tenants the breathing space needed, tenants that can afford to pay rent, or a proportion of it, are still expected to do so. The Government recognises that commercial landlords have their own obligations to meet.

The Government is implementing temporary measures that were provided for in the Coronavirus Act 2020 to protect business tenants from forfeiture or re-entry on grounds of non-payment of rent. The Government will also introduce temporary measures to ban the use by commercial landlords of aggressive debt recovery tactics, as part of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill. These measures do not require landlords to waive rent.

The Government is providing an unprecedented package of measures to help businesses during the current COIVD-19 outbreak, including loans, employee salary support and self-employed income support, which are available to commercial landlords.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many meetings the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has had, in each of the last 18 months, with (1) Deloitte, (2) EY, (3) KPMG, and (4) PwC.

Within the last 18 months, the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has had two meetings with Deloitte, two meetings with EY, two meetings with KPMG, and five meetings with PwC.

9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent actions have been taken by HS2 Ltd and contractors EKFB to ensure that they satisfy legal obligations to consider all reasonable and practical alternatives to mitigate the impact of the HS2 Phase One route at Wendover.

There are no legal obligations on HS2 Ltd to consider alternative proposals from third parties following Royal Assent.

The Phase One scheme was extensively discussed and scrutinised in both Houses, and during the committee stage of the Bill process, before the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017 received Royal Assent.

However, HS2 Ltd and EKFB continue to engage with those affected by the works are currently developing the detailed design following the best practice approaches agreed with Qualifying Authorities as set out in HS2 Planning Forum Notes.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent assessment has been made of the effect of HS2 Phase One construction and operation at Wendover on (1) local transport infrastructure, (2) permitted noise levels, (3) air quality, and (4) the Site of Special Scientific Interest at Weston Turville Reservoir.

Information, reports, and studies which monitor the environmental effects of constructing HS2 are published online and updated monthly and annually. They include reports on air quality, dust, noise and vibration. The Phase One Environmental Statement as published reports the likely significant effects (as a likely worst case) of the broad range of environmental impacts along the route of the new railway on Wendover.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what alternative noise and environmental mitigation proposals have been agreed by HS2 Ltd and EKFB to the consented scheme on HS2 Phase One at Wendover following recent discussions with local authorities and stakeholder groups.

HS2 Ltd continues to work within the powers of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017 and the mitigations specified within it, which were subject to extensive Parliamentary scrutiny in respect of all areas in Phase One.

The approach used for Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Assessment is to use worst case scenarios. The HS2 Environmental Minimum Requirements are then in place to allow effective measures to be developed and implemented to further reduce impacts.

Detailed design work is ongoing, and indicative mitigation proposals are subject to approvals through schedule 17 of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017. They are made public through this process. Earlier this year, the Wendover Dean Viaduct was the subject of the first such application made and was approved in May 2021, and indicative mitigation proposals for the remainder of works in Wendover will follow in future applications. At Wendover Dean Viaduct, optimisation of the viaduct design since the hybrid Bill has led to an environmentally significant reduction in forecast noise levels which has removed a significant effect reported in the Environmental Statement.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether new alternative noise and environmental mitigation solutions at Wendover on HS2 Phase One will be considered by HS2 Ltd and EKFB.

HS2 civils contractor EKFB is undertaking the detailed design of noise and environmental mitigation. HS2 Ltd and EKFB continue to engage with those affected by the works to understand and engage with their concerns. They are currently developing the detailed design following the best practice approaches agreed with Qualifying Authorities set out in HS2 Planning Forum Notes.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of (1) progress, and (2) construction costs, of the current consented HS2 Phase One scheme at Wendover.

The Government assesses HS2 Ltd progress in delivering the Phase One railway, including the section at Wendover, on a monthly basis. The delivery of the new railway in the Wendover area, and across the Phase One route, remains within both the budget and schedule estimates provided at the point of Notice to Proceed in April 2020, following the reset of the project in February 2020. More detailed cost and schedule information can be found in the HS2 Minister’s last six-monthly update to Parliament published on 23 March 2021.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their latest estimate of the costs and construction time of the current consented scheme at Wendover on HS2 Phase One.

The cost of delivering the new railway is spread across a number of contracts that cover different geographical areas. For Wendover this includes Enabling Works (Fusion JV for Colne Valley to Long Itchington), Main Civil Works (EKFB for Chilterns Tunnel North Portal to Long Itchington Tunnel South Portal) and railway systems contracts (separate route-wide contracts including signalling, rails, track bed, and overhead line equipment).

HS2 Ltd does not routinely apply cost apportionment on the basis of geographical sections, as cost and schedule control measures are applied to the contractors delivering specific requirements or assets which will typically sit across geographical boundaries.

However, the delivery of the new railway in the Wendover area, and across the Phase One route, remains within both the budget and schedule estimates provided at the point of Notice to Proceed in April 2020.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have received any formal requests to undertake a cost and construction assessment of the alternative proposal to build a short-mined tunnel at Wendover on HS2 Phase One.

The Department for Transport has received successive requests to assess the Wendover short-mined tunnel proposal. The Department considered the proposal on the basis of assessments conducted by HS2 Ltd in 2017 and by independent consultants in 2018.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a decision was taken by HS2 Ltd to instruct contractors EKFB not to formally evaluate and assess alternative proposals for a short-mined tunnel at Wendover on HS2 Phase One; and if so on what date.

EKFB were not instructed, either by the Department for Transport or HS2 Ltd, to formally evaluate the Wendover short-mined tunnel proposal. This decision was made on the basis that significant design work would be required to bring the proposal up to the same design maturity as the consented scheme, and that this was not an effective use of public money. This decision was communicated to David Lidington MP in October 2018.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether formal discussions were held between HS2 Ltd and EKFB before the decision was taken not to consider the alternative Wendover short-mined tunnel proposal.

The Wendover short-mined tunnel proposal was considered by the Department, upon receipt of advice from HS2 Ltd and from independent consultants, in both 2017 and 2018. The proposal was not, however, adopted on the basis that it was more difficult to construct, would cost more, would take longer to construct, and would require new powers to be sought. As previously stated, there was the one formal discussion involving HS2 Ltd, EFKB and DfT in April 2019, which related to a further request to reconsider the proposal again.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a decision was made to restrict EKFB’s design scope to the surface scheme solely as it passed Wendover on HS2 Phase One; and if so (1) on what date the decision was taken, (2) who took the decision, and (3) whether Wendover is the only location on HS2 Phase One that EKFB were prevented from seeking cost savings and engineering efficiencies.

The Department for Transport has made no decision or instruction, to either HS2 Ltd or to EKFB, to restrict EKFB from seeking cost savings or engineering efficiencies in relation to any part of the route, including Wendover. In accordance with Lord Ahmad’s statement to the House of Lords on 24 January 2017, HS2 contractors were advised to identify efficiencies within the limits of the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to assist businesses using director’s capital or loans rather than third party loans.

The Government has set out an unprecedented package of support for all businesses to protect against the current economic emergency, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme (CLBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), which can all be accessed by directors.

CBILS is available to all viable UK-based businesses with a turnover of less than £45m. It is particularly suited to businesses looking to mitigate against short-term cash flow difficulties, for example by accessing bank lending and overdrafts. By providing an 80% government guarantee on finance facilities up to £5 million, this scheme will help more businesses access the finance they need.

No lender can take a personal guarantee for a loan of less than £250,000 that is supported by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. For loans over the value of £250,000, a personal guarantee can only be taken for 20% of the outstanding balance. However, a lender is not allowed to take a personal guarantee against a borrower's principal residence under the scheme. So even if a personal guarantee is required under the lender's credit policy for loans over £250,000, it cannot be taken against the borrower's home.

As of 6 May, over 34,000 facilities had been approved under CBILS, supporting over £5.7bn of finance to SMEs.

BBLS launched on 4 May, offering loans from £2,000 up to £50,000 to businesses including sole traders, small partnerships and unincorporated associations. The Government will cover the first year’s interest payments, and no repayments are due by the borrower during this initial 12-month period. Thereafter, interest will revert to a fixed rate of 2.5%.

The Government has recognised that some businesses (e.g. sole traders) risk their personal assets, including their home, when borrowing as there is no distinction between their personal and business assets (as there would be for limited liability companies). Therefore, a sole trader’s primary residence and vehicle cannot be pursued should a borrower default on a loan in the BBL Scheme.

As of 6 May, nearly 160,000 facilities had been approved under BBLS, supporting almost £5bn of finance to SMEs.

CLBILS is available to all viable UK-based businesses with a turnover of more than £45m. The government is providing a guarantee of 80% on finance facilities up to £50m This scheme responds to concerns from businesses that are not eligible for CBILS.

As of 6 May, 48 CLBILS loans worth nearly £290m had been approved.

Further support available to businesses includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, business rate holidays and grants to SMEs. These measures will support thousands of businesses to get through this and emerge stronger on the other side

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a care provider that is a (1) registered charity, (2) not-for-profit organisation, and (3) for-profit organisation, is required to pay value added tax when purchasing personal protective equipment.

A zero rate of VAT is applied to certain purchases of specialist clothing and other specialist medical equipment by health bodies and charitable institutions that provide care or medical treatment. In terms of clothing, this covers specialist surgical masks, gowns and gloves. The items subject to the zero rate are set out in Section 3 of VAT Notice 701/6 “Charity Funded Equipment for Medical and Veterinary Uses”.

The Government announced on 30 April a temporary zero rate effective from 1 May until 31 July 2020 for supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommended for use in connection with protection from infection with Covid-19. The relevant PPE is set out in guidance published by Public Health England on 24 April 2020 titled “Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment” and further guidance is available on GOV.UK.

Social care or welfare services are generally exempt from VAT. Organisations offering such services are not required to charge VAT where they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The exemption is explained in VAT Notice 701/2 “Welfare Services and Goods”.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a care provider that is a (1) registered charity, (2) not-for-profit organisation, and (3) for-profit organisation is required to pay value added tax when purchasing medical supplies.

A zero rate of VAT is applied to certain purchases of specialist clothing and other specialist medical equipment by health bodies and charitable institutions that provide care or medical treatment. In terms of clothing, this covers specialist surgical masks, gowns and gloves. The items subject to the zero rate are set out in Section 3 of VAT Notice 701/6 “Charity Funded Equipment for Medical and Veterinary Uses”.

The Government announced on 30 April a temporary zero rate effective from 1 May until 31 July 2020 for supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommended for use in connection with protection from infection with Covid-19. The relevant PPE is set out in guidance published by Public Health England on 24 April 2020 titled “Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment” and further guidance is available on GOV.UK.

Social care or welfare services are generally exempt from VAT. Organisations offering such services are not required to charge VAT where they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The exemption is explained in VAT Notice 701/2 “Welfare Services and Goods”.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether a care provider that is a (1) registered charity, (2) not-for-profit organisation and (3) for-profit organisation, is required to charge value added tax on the services they provide to people.

A zero rate of VAT is applied to certain purchases of specialist clothing and other specialist medical equipment by health bodies and charitable institutions that provide care or medical treatment. In terms of clothing, this covers specialist surgical masks, gowns and gloves. The items subject to the zero rate are set out in Section 3 of VAT Notice 701/6 “Charity Funded Equipment for Medical and Veterinary Uses”.

The Government announced on 30 April a temporary zero rate effective from 1 May until 31 July 2020 for supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommended for use in connection with protection from infection with Covid-19. The relevant PPE is set out in guidance published by Public Health England on 24 April 2020 titled “Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment” and further guidance is available on GOV.UK.

Social care or welfare services are generally exempt from VAT. Organisations offering such services are not required to charge VAT where they are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The exemption is explained in VAT Notice 701/2 “Welfare Services and Goods”.