Lord Myners

Crossbench - Life peer

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


Division Voting information

Lord Myners has voted in 159 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

15 Jun 2009 - Political Parties and Elections Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Myners voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Labour No votes vs 45 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 107 Noes - 85
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All Debates

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 Sassoon (Conservative)
(113 debate interactions)
Baroness Wilcox (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
Lord De Mauley (Conservative)
(14 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
HM Treasury
(120 debate contributions)
Leader of the House
(25 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(10 debate contributions)
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View all Lord Myners's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Myners, 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.


Lord Myners has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Myners has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Myners has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


570 Written Questions

(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
17 Other Department Questions
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what quantitative measure or measures they will use to determine the success of their levelling up policies.

Levelling up is at the heart of the Government’s agenda to build back better after the pandemic and deliver for the people of the UK. The Government will publish a White Paper in due course that will set out our plans in more detail.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Jul 2019
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans they have, if any, to enable the charging of electric vehicles in the House of Lords carpark.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me, as Chairman of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf.

The Services Committee considered the possibility of introducing electric vehicle charging (EVC) points at its meeting on 14 March 2019. The Committee declined to agree a proposal to introduce EVC points to the House of Lords. Although the Committee recognised the benefits, it did not believe it was the appropriate time to implement the scheme.

Amongst other factors, the Committee considered the location and impact of the EVC points, the longevity of the proposed installation of charging points, which risked being decommissioned when Restoration and Renewal commenced, the need for a long term vision for EVC across the Estate, and concerns that the proposal did not provide value for money.

7th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 6 June (HL Deb, col 625), what factors make it difficult to estimate the cost to the taxpayer of the failure of BHS; and in what ways those costs can be covered by existing BHS resources.

It is too early to determine the cost to the taxpayer of BHS’ insolvency.

When a company becomes insolvent, redundancy costs are paid from the National Insurance Fund, up to legal limits, as part of a statutory guarantee scheme administered by the Insolvency Service’s Redundancy Payments Service. The Redundancy Payments Service then becomes a creditor in the insolvency and can recover some of the debt should any assets be sold as part of the insolvency process. If an employee has a claim over and above the statutory amount paid by the Redundancy Payment Service, then they can also claim as a creditor in the insolvency.

Therefore, the cost to the Government depends on the number of people made redundant, the amount paid to them and the amount recovered from the insolvency as a creditor.

7th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish the report of the Insolvency Service into the collapse of BHS.

It would not be appropriate for details of the ongoing investigation to be made public as that may prejudice the outcome of any criminal or civil cases which arise from it.

If any directors are disqualified the Insolvency Service will publish the details of the disqualification on its website (for three months) and will notify Companies House, which keeps the statutory register of disqualifications. In addition, where the investigation uncovers matters of potential criminal misconduct or other regulatory breaches then this will be reported to the relevant authority for further action.

Once the investigation is completed the Government will consider what detail it is appropriate to publish having full regard to any legal restrictions on publication, and also the legitimate public interest in the cause of the BHS failure.

7th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in the light of the current situation facing the UK's retail industry, they will reconsider their decision not to publish the report by the Insolvency Service into the collapse of Comet Group plc.

The Insolvency Service’s fact-finding inquiry into Comet was conducted under Section 447 of the Companies Act 1985. Section 449 of that Act makes it a criminal offence to share any information gathered in the course of the investigation with any person, other than in the strictly prescribed circumstances laid out in the Act.

In the light of this legal position I am unable to reconsider the request to publish the report.

6th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on graduates of freezing the income level at which student loans become repayable, and what estimate they have made of the number of students who would be rendered liable if that level were frozen.

The impact of freezing the repayment threshold for 5 years was described in the government’s consultation document, which was published in July 2015.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/freezing-the-student-loan-repayment-threshold

Those who earn above the £21,000 threshold can expect to repay nearly £6 extra per week by 2021 (in 2021 prices), or around £306 per year.

We expect that an additional 9% of graduates will start to repay as a result of the threshold freeze. This equates to 190,000 of the 2.1 million Plan 2 graduates expected to be in repayment by 2020/21.

The £21,000 threshold remains higher in real terms than that applicable to student loans taken out before 2012.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
9th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will investigate the case for sales of gift vouchers by retailers to be backed by cash collateral held in independent escrow.

Her Majesty’s Government has asked the Law Commission to consider the treatment of gift vouchers and pre-payments in the event of retailer insolvency. The Government will consider carefully any recommendations that may emerge on this question once the Law Commission’s report is published in the summer of 2016.

3rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will investigate the compliance of professional advisers to Retail Acquisitions with know-your-customer and money-laundering regulations.

A regulatory framework is in place to deal with non-compliance with know-your-customer and money-laundering regulations. However, this is not the focus of the current investigation by the Insolvency Service into BHS.

If, during the course of the current Insolvency Service investigation into BHS, it appears that there is good reason to widen the scope of its enquires, the Insolvency Service has powers under the Companies Act 1985 to initiate confidential enquiries.

27th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish the report produced by the Insolvency Service on the collapse of the Comet Group, and whether they will take that report into account when conducting any review of the circumstances leading to the collapse of BHS.

The Insolvency Service investigated Comet under provisions of the Companies Act, which means it is not possible to publish the report.

The Insolvency Service continuously builds on the experience gained in all its investigations to inform its work.

26th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Statement by the Business Minister, Anna Soubry, on 25 April (HC Deb, col 1174), what assistance they plan to offer BHS or Retail Acquisitions.

Workers and their families will be worried by the news that BHS has been placed in the hands of administrators. The Administrator must secure the best possible result for the business, starting with rescuing it if possible as a going concern. If this does not prove possible, then we stand ready to help those affected, including through Jobcentre Plus’ Rapid Response Service, to help people move into new jobs as quickly as possible.
25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will establish an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding BHS being placed in administration, and in particular in to the implications for employees, pension scheme members and creditors.

When a company enters administration, the administrators have to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills within three months on the conduct of the directors.

In the case of BHS the Insolvency Service is making early contact with the administrators to discuss the directors’ conduct and to consider whether further steps, such as a detailed investigation, may be necessary.

Where misconduct is established it can lead to disqualification of a director for between 2 and 15 years.

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have had any talks with the owners, managers or advisers to BHS; and whether they will take any action to protect employees, creditors and pensioners.

This is a worrying time for the BHS workforce and their families.

I understand that there are no plans for immediate store closures and that the administrators are looking to sell BHS as a going concern.

Clearly if this proves not to be possible, then we stand ready to help those affected, including through Jobcentre Plus’ Rapid Response Service, to help people move into new jobs as quickly as possible.

The Insolvency Service continues to liaise with the administrators, and stands ready to provide statutory assistance to employees in the event that the commercial situation changes.

I understand that the BHS schemes are in the early stages of a Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment period, during which the PPF will determine the final funding position of the scheme and whether it should assume responsibility for a scheme. We cannot comment on this, or any other individual case directly.

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review the legislation protecting creditors in the event of business failure.

We do keep insolvency legislation under review. We seek to ensure that the legislative framework strikes the right balance between rescuing a business, which may also save jobs, and the rights of creditors who may lose out financially.

23rd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will take steps to ensure the continued presence of commercial retail banking services in St Agnes, Cornwall; and whether they will investigate proposals by Barclays to close the only remaining retail banking branch in that area.

Officials at the Department for Business have discussed with Barclays the rationale for the proposed closure of its branch in St Agnes. Ultimately, however, the decision on whether to retain a branch in the town is a matter for the management of the bank who will need to balance customer interests, market competition and other commercial factors.

The Government, nonetheless, recognises that bank branch closures can have a significant impact on customers, particularly vulnerable customers such as the elderly, the disabled, those on low incomes, and small businesses. It is therefore pressing the banking sector to finalise a new branch closure protocol.

The Government is also clear that there is an important role to play for Post Office in maintaining communities’ physical access to banking services. Barclays (and most other banks) have commercial arrangements in place with Post Office allowing personal current account customers to withdraw money and deposit cash and cheques at Post Office branches, including the one in St Agnes. Approximately 95% of UK personal account customers are already able to access banking services at the Post Office, and negotiations are underway to increase this coverage to closer to 100%.

8th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will examine the financial support undertakings given to City Link by its owner; and whether they have estimated the cost to the taxpayer of the withdrawal of the committed support.

The Insolvency Service will consider the conduct of the directors of City Link in connection with the management of the company. This would include any issues associated with financial support offered by its owner or by third parties.

It is not uncommon that an insolvent company has insufficient money to pay their creditors in full - including employees - and that is why there are special arrangements for employees who are made redundant on the insolvency of their employer. These provisions ensure employees receive a basic minimum of the debts owed by the employer from the National Insurance Fund.

It is too early to provide an estimate of the cost of the payments to former employees of City Link. However, I can confirm that there are statutory limits on these payments, such as the £464 cap on a week’s pay.

19th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are investigating Quindell plc and its board of directors and financial advisers; and if not, whether they plan to do so.

Quindell plc is Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed which is controlled by London Stock Exchange and any enquiry relating to possible market abuse sits within the remit of the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Government’s Insolvency Service has discretionary powers under the Companies Acts to conduct enquiries on behalf of the Secretary of State where it appears that there has been misconduct in relation to the affairs of any company, including those not subject to formal insolvency.

For the investigation process to be effective it is essential to maintain confidentiality at all stages and there is also a need to protect the commercial interest of companies against the danger of damage from malicious complaints. For these reasons there are legal restrictions on disclosing information obtained during an enquiry and The Service does not confirm or deny whether an investigation of a particular company is taking place.

Where other regulators and investigating agencies are involved, the Insolvency Service would liaise closely to ensure public money is not wasted duplicating resources.

11th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Sir Phillip Green or any company, trust or other entity associated with him, has obtained an injunction against Her Majesty's Government or any government departments, agencies or public bodies since May 2010; if so, when any such injunction was granted; and when it was withdrawn.

The Government Legal Department (GLD) conducts civil litigation on behalf of most government departments and many (but not all) executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

GLD has no record of any injunctions obtained by Sir Philip Green, or any entity known by GLD to be connected with him, against any of the departments, agencies or bodies to which GLD provides litigation services.

12th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to publish the legal advice prepared by the Attorney General for the Prime Minister on the Irish backstop proposals for the Brexit negotiations; whether the full advice was made available to members of the Cabinet; and if not, why not.

The Government recognises the legitimate desire in Parliament, from Members on all sides and in both Houses, to understand the legal implications of the final Withdrawal Agreement. The Government will therefore make available to all members of Parliament a full, reasoned position statement, setting out the Government’s agreed legal position on the Agreement, including the Irish backstop proposals. The Attorney will also make a statement to the House of Commons and take questions. This will help to ensure Parliament has all appropriate information ahead of the vote on the final deal.

We expect the Attorney General’s statement to be repeated in the Lords, with questions.

8th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have asked the Serious Fraud Office to investigate matters related to the sale and purchase of BHS.

In all cases decisions to investigate are made by the Director of the Serious Fraud Office, who acts independently. In respect of BHS, the SFO has confirmed that it is reviewing material in its possession. If the Director considers there are reasonable grounds to suspect serious or complex fraud which meets his Statement of Principle, he will open a formal criminal investigation.
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 29 April (HL15167), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, further to the summary report published by the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists on 26 March following its investigation into Rt Hon David Cameron, whether the Registrar had sight of any contract of employment between Mr Cameron and Greensill companies; and whether (1) any such contracts, or (2) related job descriptions, made any reference to lobbying duties.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to assess the financial benefits to UK taxpayers that have resulted from the Green Review of public sector procurement, published in October 2010.

Responding to the findings of the Green Review, HMG took steps to increase efficiency across Government. This included work to enable the UK public sector to get better value from its procurement of common goods and services which is now being taken forward by the Crown Commercial Service.

The Government has published details of savings made through efficiency and reform each year since 2010. The most up-to-date figures are contained in the Crown Commercial Service 2017-18 Annual Report which details £354 million in commercial benefits including savings for central government and £247 million for the wider public sector in that financial year.

19th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Honours Forfeiture Committee is next due to meet.

We expect the next meeting to be held over the summer.

11th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions the Honours Forfeiture Committee met in each of the last eight calendar years; and when that committee last met.

Prior to 2017, the Forfeiture Committee met to consider cases on an ad-hoc basis, or by correspondence as business required. The Committee now only meets formally and in person. Since 2017 has met on three occasions, and it last met in September 2018.

29th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to commission a review into the benefit of adopting the recommendations on government procurement made in The Efficiency Review by Sir Philip Green, published in 2010.

We have implemented the key recommendations on public sector procurement made by the Efficiency Review in 2010. There are no current plans to review these recommendations.

However, best practice guidance for public sector procurement is regularly published as procurement policy notes on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/procurement-policy-notes

7th Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 1 February (HL5031), whether they will now answer the question asked, namely who were the Crown Representatives named for Carillion; what was their period of service; and what was their previous relevant experience.

​Julie Scattergood was the Crown Representative for Carillion from April 2014 to August 2017.

We do not publish officials’ CVs. However, we believe she had the necessary qualifications for the appointment.

23rd Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government who were the Crown Representatives named for Carillion; what was their period of service; and what was their previous relevant experience.

A list of Crown Representatives and strategic suppliers is attached.

This list is updated periodically.

Crown representatives are contractors assigned to companies where they have knowledge of the sector, but where there is no conflict with other concurrent roles. They are not political appointees and they have no authority to take procurement decisions.

23rd Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last published a list of Crown Representatives and strategic suppliers; whether the published listed is updated when appointments cease or new ones are made; and if not, when that list will next be published.

A list of Crown Representatives and strategic suppliers is attached.

This list is updated periodically.

Crown representatives are contractors assigned to companies where they have knowledge of the sector, but where there is no conflict with other concurrent roles. They are not political appointees and they have no authority to take procurement decisions.

23rd Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 15 January (HL Deb, col 471), whether the joint and several liability that applies to all parties to the six joint venture contracts they let to groups in which Carillion was a shareholder will transition all of Carillion's obligations and liabilities to other joint venture partners without further cost or negative consequence; whether the stress testing of financial capacity of contractors to take on additional government work included an assessment of joint and several underwriting; and whether Carillion was judged capable of taking on the obligations of its joint venture partners if they failed.

Our Priority is the continuity of public services.

Contractually, the partners to those Joint Ventures are required to deliver the requirements of the Joint Venture if one of the partners fails.

We routinely stress-test contracts to ensure that if one party within a contract fails to deliver, the other parties involved will step in to complete the work. Individual contracts for these Joint Ventures are not held centrally.

23rd Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer given by Lord Young of Cookham on 15 January (HL Deb, col 471), which department or government body was responsible for assessing the financial stability of Carillion; and whether the assessment took into consideration the substantial goodwill element within that company's asset base.

It is the responsibility of individual Contracting Authorities to assess the financial stability of potential suppliers as part of normal procurement activity.

17th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to commission an independent review into the granting of government contracts to Carillion after that company declared itself to be in financial difficulty; what assessment they have made of the sufficiency of the attention given to the solvency and liquidity of the company before granting those contracts; and what consideration was given to rules relating to state aid relating to the grant of those contracts.

Following the news of the collapse of Carillion, the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee launched an inquiry into how the Government and public sector manages the risks of outsourcing the delivery of public services. The government will fully cooperate with this Inquiry.

17th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government by whose authority the Crown Representative was removed from Carillion in August 2017; and what assessment they have made of whether there were negative consequences in terms of insight or influence as a result of not having a designated Crown Representative.

This Government recognises the importance of managing relationships with Strategic Suppliers and their performance on a cross-Government basis, and has developed a range of strategies to do this, including the use of Crown Representatives.

The role of Crown Representative for Carillion was vacant for three months between August and November 2017 following the retirement of the previous post holder. During this period, the Crown representative responsibilities were covered by the Government’s Chief Commercial officer and the Cabinet Office Director of Markets and Suppliers.

17th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many contracts they awarded to Carillion over each of the last three years without open book processes; and what was the value of those contracts.

Since January 2011, details of central government contracts above the value of £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder. Contracts published prior to 26 February 2015 can be viewed at:

https://data.gov.uk/data/contracts-finder-archive

Those published after 26 February 2015 can be viewed at:

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

Information on whether or not open book processes were used is not held centrally.

17th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they (1) have paid, and (2) are due to pay, PwC in connection with PwC advising HM Government on the consequences of the failure of Carillion.

In line with all central Government contracts, details of the work PwC are undertaking will be made available on Contracts Finder in due course.

16th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their definition of the term “public sector contracts” which they are using in connection with employees of Carillion; and whether that definition includes (1) Private Finance Initiative contracts, (2) other types of public-private partnerships, and (3) work for non-departmental public bodies.

The relevant Carillion contracts are those drawn up under the Public Contracts regulations 2015. These are set out in the Regulations to ensure consistency of understanding and interpretation and be found at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/102/contents/made

23rd Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has ever advised a former minister not to accept an appointment.

The independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments provides its advice direct to the former Minister in question.

The Committee’s final advice is published online when an appointment has been taken up and/or publicly announced. Until this point, the process is confidential between the Committee and the former Minister in question, to allow for free and frank discussion.

21st Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review the effectiveness of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.

The Government believes that the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments discharges its remit effectively and efficiently.

23rd Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any former employees of Macquarie are acting as special advisers, or in an advisory capacity, in (1) Downing Street, (2) the Cabinet Office, or (3) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The information requested is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

8th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to publish the savings in public sector procurement as a result of following the advice of Sir Philip Green; and whether they will consider inviting Sir Philip to review the adequacy and effectiveness of implementation.

I refer the noble Lord to the answers I gave him on 11 April 2016 to Question HL7227 and on 9 May to Question HL7900.

We have published details of savings made through efficiency and reform each year since 2010-11. The most recent report can be found on www.gov.uk.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review the effectiveness of the recommendations on public sector procurement by Sir Philip Green.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave him on 11 April 2016 to Question HL7227.

As a result of the commercial and procurement reforms we made during the life of the last Parliament, we saved more than £21 bn.

21st Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have reviewed the implementation of the recommendations on public sector procurement made by Sir Philip Green; and whether they will ask Sir Philip to conduct a further review on policy options to reduce government borrowing.

Sir Phillip's report contributed enormously to the development of the Coalition Government's policies in respect of common goods and services. Many of the recommendations have been taken forward, including the creation of the Crown Commercial Service. The Crown Commercial Service brings together policy, advice and direct buying, providing commercial services to the public sector and saving money for the taxpayer.

The 2016 Budget announced that The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, with the support of the Minister for the Cabinet Office, will lead an efficiency review, reporting in 2018. We will set out details of this in due course.

9th Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government who will determine when the House of Lords first sits after the general election.

The date on which Parliament will return will be set out in a Royal Proclamation from Her Majesty the Queen.

25th Feb 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint was appointed as an adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on banking issues; when he was appointed to the Cabinet Committee on banking reform; how many meetings of that committee he attended; and when he ceased to be a member of that committee.

Lord Green was a member of the Banking Reform Committee for the period 11 January 2011 to 11 December 2013. His interest in HSBC is a matter of public record. As was the case under previous administrations, information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees, including when and how often they meet and which Ministers have attended, is generally not disclosed.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
23rd Feb 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint disclosed an interest in, and knowledge about, HSBC before he was appointed as a member of HM Treasury’s Banking Reform Committee; and when he joined and left that Committee.

Lord Green was a member of the Banking Reform Committee for the period 11 January 2011 to 11 December 2013. His interest in HSBC is a matter of public record. As was the case under previous administrations, information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees, including when and how often they meet and which Ministers have attended, is generally not disclosed.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
11th Feb 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether it is routine policy for the Cabinet Office to contact HM Revenue and Customs to consult it prior to the appointment of a non-elected Minister.

As was the case under previous administrations, ministerial appointments are a matter for the Prime Minister, in line with the Ministerial Code.

For those individuals upon whom the Prime Minister wishes to confer a life peerage, the independent House of Lords Appointments Commission vets nominations. For those individuals upon whom the Prime Minister wishes to confer a peerage in order that they might sit in the House of Lords to take up a ministerial role, the Commission consults the main regulatory authorities, including HMRC, before giving advice.

22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Departments, if any, still have outstanding Maxwellisation points in connection with the Chilcot Inquiry.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry; Sir John Chilcot has described the process as essential and confidential, and to comment further might jeopardise the confidentiality of the process. Once his report is complete, Sir John Chilcot will deliver it to the Prime Minister. It is for Government to publish the report, and once it is delivered we expect to publish without delay.

The daily fees for the Chair and Members of the Inquiry are published on the Inquiry’s website.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Sir John Chilcot requires permission from Her Majesty’s Government to publish his report on Iraq.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry; Sir John Chilcot has described the process as essential and confidential, and to comment further might jeopardise the confidentiality of the process. Once his report is complete, Sir John Chilcot will deliver it to the Prime Minister. It is for Government to publish the report, and once it is delivered we expect to publish without delay.

The daily fees for the Chair and Members of the Inquiry are published on the Inquiry’s website.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the rules for Maxwellisation were last reviewed; by whom they were prepared; where they can be seen; and what the consequences would be if the Chilcot Review were published with outstanding complaints from those criticised not addressed.

The Maxwellisation process is a matter for the Inquiry; Sir John Chilcot has described the process as essential and confidential, and to comment further might jeopardise the confidentiality of the process. Once his report is complete, Sir John Chilcot will deliver it to the Prime Minister. It is for Government to publish the report, and once it is delivered we expect to publish without delay.

The daily fees for the Chair and Members of the Inquiry are published on the Inquiry’s website.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
4th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the UK Statistics Authority was consulted about, or intends to review the categorisation of expenditure used in the recent letter sent to taxpayers regarding government expenditure.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
4th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to abolish the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership; if they have such plans, to which body the Partnership's responsibilities would be transferred; and where it would be based.

The Government is hugely grateful for the work LEPs have done over the last ten years to support their local economies, including through the Local Growth Fund, Growth Hubs and giving valuable insight to local and national government. Earlier this year the Budget set out significant changes to the way local growth investments are supported, decentralising power and working more directly with local government across the United Kingdom. A review of the LEP was announced at the Spring Budget with the intention to state the Government’s plans around the role of LEPs in the forthcoming White Paper and at the Spending Review.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they (1) received, or (2) sought, any information from (a) the government of Germany, (b) German financial regulators, or (c) the German Deposit Protection Scheme in connection with Greensill Bank before the British Business Bank accredited Greensill Capital as a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lender; and whether they were advised by the government of Germany that the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (i) had established a Greensill task force in July 2020, and (ii) appointed KPMG to conduct a review of the management of Greensill Bank in September 2020.

The Department neither sought nor received any information from the German government, German financial regulators, or the German Deposit Protection Scheme in connection with Greensill Bank.

The decision to accredit Greensill Capital was made independently by the British Business Bank (the Bank) and in accordance with the Bank’s usual procedures. The Bank ran an accreditation process for lenders to participate in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which included due consideration of whether a prospective lender met the criteria set out in the CBILS Request for Proposals (a publicly available document).

At the point of accreditation and based on the information provided to it, the Bank considered that Greensill Capital met the required criteria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Department does not hold this information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All figures correct as of 30 September 2020.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

· £102.9m at 31 March 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The funds include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of loans made by the British Business Bank and sourced from peer-to-peer platforms have defaulted.

Since 2014, the British Business Bank has invested over £2.18bn via peer-to-peer platforms, benefitting over 19,617 SMEs (as at March 2019).

The default rate in the British Business Bank’s peer-to-peer platform investments is commercially sensitive information.

14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the actions of financial and other advisers to Thomas Cook Group in seeking the payment of fees before the Group collapsed; what plans they have, if any, to launch an investigation into such actions; and whether such an investigation will examine whether these actions constituted an act of fraudulent preference to the disadvantage of UK taxpayers.

The Business Secretary has written to the Insolvency Service to ask them to prioritize and fast-track their investigation into the circumstances surrounding Thomas Cook going into liquidation.

Under the Insolvency Act 1986, the Official Receiver as liquidator may seek to overturn a range of transactions made prior to the liquidation, for example where preference payments have been made to a creditor/s or where a transaction is to the detriment of creditors.

25th Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the British Business Bank independently vets every loan it makes through peer-to-peer lending platforms and similar agencies or relies on such platforms for conducting due diligence.

The British Business Bank operates indirectly through various delivery partners. Individual lending and investment decisions are fully delegated to these delivery partners.

The British Business Bank has a thorough delivery partner selection process, which includes robust due diligence. British Business Bank also monitors existing delivery partners and their performance against contractual requirements or Service Level Agreements.

11th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 22 May (HL15809), whether the review and assessment process followed by the British Business Bank also applied to the process supporting their grant of a £120 million loan to British Steel; and whether that process included a review of the (1) capital structure, (2) tax planning, and (3) managerial record, of Greybull Capital and its associates.

The British Business Bank was not involved.

11th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 6 June (HL15957), whether the placement of British Steel in receivership on 25 May (1) disqualifies that company from receiving, or (2) places it at risk of not receiving, 2019 carbon credits; if so, what are the implications for the £120 million loan they made to British Steel; and whether they will now answer the original question put, namely, whether that loan was guaranteed by Greybull Capital or related parties.

The Deed of Forfeiture bridge facility agreed between Government and British Steel Limited provides legal protections to give Government control of 2019 EU ETS allowances, even under the scenario of insolvency.

Under the Deed of Forfeiture agreed between the company and British Steel Limited, the company’s 2019 allowances will be assigned to the Government once issued, and the proceeds from selling these is expected to cover the costs of purchasing the allowances. Greybull are not party to this Deed of Forfeiture, and as a result of the liquidation, day-to-day control has passed to the liquidator of British Steel Limited.

The terms of the commercial agreement between Government and British Steel are set out in letters from the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and the Comptroller & Auditor General, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 9 May (HL15286), whether they intend to prioritise strengthening the powers available to insolvency practitioners to take recovery action where value has been extracted from a company prior to insolvency and to require any such related funds to be returned.

In 2018, the Government published detailed proposals to reform corporate insolvency laws including strengthening the powers available to insolvency office-holders to challenge transactions and take recovery action where value has been extracted from a company as it approaches insolvency. The Government remains committed to introduce these changes as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 20 May (HL15640), whether they have reviewed the decision-making processes in investment institutions which hold equity investments in both the offeror and the offeree in a takeover situation but on behalf of different clients and where a particular outcome might favour one group of clients over another .

Asset managers act as agents of investors in their funds. They are required to manage their funds in the best interests of all of their fund investors and to appropriately avoid, manage and disclose conflicts of interests that could, and do arise between different investor groups. This is a requirement of Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II).

Asset managers should have policies, procedures and governance in place to effectively manage any conflicts arising from their stewardship obligations.

The FCA has recently published a Policy Statement (PS 19/13) ‘Proposals to promote shareholder engagement: Feedback to CP 19/7 and final rules.’ This sets out final rules to implement requirements of the Revised Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II). SRD II introduced new requirements to improve shareholder engagement and increase transparency around stewardship. The rules came into effect on 10 June 2019 requiring asset managers to disclose and make publicly available their policies on how they engage with the companies they invest in. They also require asset managers to provide certain information to institutional investors, including occupational pension schemes. The new rules are designed to foster stewardship, and better stewardship should lead to better decision making in relation to mergers and acquisitions.

5th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to take any action to persuade Greybull Capital and its associates to contribute any gains made from its (1) investment in, and (2) loans to, British Steel towards reducing (a) the deficit of the British Steel Pension Scheme, and (b) the impact of British Steel's collapse on past and present employees.

The Official Receiver was appointed liquidator of British Steel Limited. In his role as liquidator, the Official Receiver is under a statutory duty to investigate the cause of failure of the company and generally its business, dealings and affairs and has wide-ranging powers to obtain information, material, and explanations.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to the Insolvency Service on 22 May requesting that the Official Receiver’s investigation not only looks at the conduct of the directors immediately prior to and at insolvency, but also at the investments made in the company, value transferred out of the company and whether any action by directors has caused detriment to creditors or to the pension schemes.

5th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they estimate they will cease to provide financial support to British Steel; whether a specific event will trigger the end of that support; and whether that support will terminate when the Official Receiver has completed their work.

The immediate priority following the Official Receiver’s appointment as liquidator of British Steel Limited was to continue the safe operation of the sites while options are considered. To enable this, the Government has provided an indemnity to the Official Receiver, who is now responsible for the operations.

The Official Receiver is currently overseeing a sales process as they seek to sell the business. Trading will continue whilst a buyer is sought.

4th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the recent loan of £120 million to enable British Steel to meet its emissions trading compliance costs required a Ministerial direction.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not issued any Ministerial Directions in respect of British Steel.

This loan agreement was fully commercial and state aid compliant, valued at around £120m, under Section 7 of the Industrial Development Act 1982. Under the agreement the Government purchased emissions allowances on behalf of British Steel ensuring it met its 2018 ETS obligations. Failure to comply with its ETS obligations would have led to a fine of around £500m, on top of the costs of ETS compliance of around £120m.

In return, under a deed of forfeiture, the company’s 2019 allowances will be assigned to the Government once issued, and the proceeds from selling these is expected to cover the costs of purchasing allowances for British Steel. The Government’s view is that the 2019 allowances will still be issued to British Steel in insolvency.

The Government’s assessment is that the Deed of Forfeiture offered value for money to the taxpayer, with benefits exceeding the costs, predicated on the level of confidence around security, even in the event of insolvency.

This position was supported by the independent Industrial Development Advisory Board which assessed the proposal in their statutory role and agreed with the Government’s value for money assessment.

4th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether civil servants expressed any concerns about the loan made to British Steel to enable it to meet its emissions trading compliance costs; and whether this loan is subject to enforceable security.

I refer the Noble Lord to the answer I gave him on 4th June 2019 to Question HL15896, and to letters from the Permanent Secretary to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and the Comptroller & Auditor General, placed in the Libraries of both Houses, outlining the terms of the Deed of Forfeiture bridge facility agreed between Government and British Steel.

The Deed of Forfeiture provides legal protections to give Government control of 2019 EU ETS allowances, even under the scenario of insolvency.

23rd May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government to which company in the British Steel group of companies they extended a loan of £120 million for the purchase of carbon credits; whether that loan was guaranteed by Greybull Capital and associates; whether the borrower benefited from, or was exposed to, guarantees to other British Steel and Greybull Capital parties; and when that loan was drawn down.

The support was provided to British Steel Limited in the form of a bridge facility. Under the terms of the commercial arrangement, the Government purchased the necessary allowances on behalf of British Steel Limited in the week leading up to 30 April and then surrendered them, via British Steel Limited's Operator Holding Account, to the EU Surrender Account. This occurred before the 30th April compliance deadline to surrender allowances for the 2018 reporting year, thus enabling British Steel Limited to meet its environmental obligations and avoid any penalties that would otherwise have resulted from non-compliance. In return, under a deed of forfeiture, the company’s 2019 allowances will be assigned to the Government once issued, and the proceeds from selling these is expected to cover the costs of purchasing the allowances.

The terms of the commercial agreement between the Government and British Steel are set out in letters from the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and the Comptroller & Auditor General, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

22nd May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will undertake a review into the activities of Greybull Capital, in particular with regard to (1) Monarch Airlines, (2) British Steel, (3) issues of creditor preference, and (4) the completeness and accuracy of public statements made by Greybull Capital, its partners, and employees.

The Official Receiver is under a statutory duty to investigate the cause of failure of any company in compulsory liquidation and generally its business, dealings and affairs, which will include any actions taken which have been detrimental to creditors or pension schemes, and will do so in the case of British Steel. He has a duty to report any potential misconduct of directors to my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In the case of British Steel, the Secretary of State has written to the Insolvency Service, specifically requesting that the investigation not only looks at the conduct of the directors immediately prior to and at insolvency, but also at the investments made in the company (noting previous commitments given in this regard) and the potential value transferred out of the company.

22nd May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to commission a review of the legislation and regulatory practice governing whistleblowing in regulated industries to investigate (1) the effectiveness of current practices, (2) the adequacy of protections provided to whistleblowers, and (3) the adoption of policies to promote and safeguard whistleblowing.

Over recent years, the Government has implemented statutory and non-statutory reforms to improve the whistleblowing framework in all sectors. This includes guidance for whistleblowers on how in practice to make disclosures while preserving their employment protections; and guidance for employers including a non-statutory code of practice.

We have fulfilled the commitment to keep the Prescribed Persons list up to date – these are individuals and bodies that a whistleblower can approach in order to make a disclosure. Guidance is in place for Prescribed Persons and we review the list annually.

The most recent reform was a new legislative requirement for most prescribed persons to produce an annual report on whistleblowing disclosures made to them by workers. Relevant prescribed persons were required to publish the first of these reports by the end of September 2018.

Whilst it is right and proper that Government reviews the whistleblowing framework, we believe that it would be premature to do so now. We need to allow the existing changes that we have introduced to embed and provide the necessary evidence of their impact over time that would support a meaningful review.

21st May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they used external independent advisers in connection with the evaluation of British Steel's applications for financial support over the last three months; and, if so, (1) who those advisers were, and (2) how much they were paid.

The Government sought commercial and legal advice from external independent advisers. Exact costs have not been finalised.

21st May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assurance they received that the terms on which they provided financial support to British Steel were at commercial rates.

The agreement between the Government and British Steel regarding their EU Emissions Trading Scheme compliance was fully commercial and state aid compliant, under Section 7 of the Industrial Development Act 1982.

The terms of the commercial agreement are set out in letters from the Permanent Secretary to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and the Comptroller & Auditor General, copies of which have been placed in the libraries of both Houses.

The Government carried out all of the necessary checks and due diligence which a typical commercial lender would undertake in relation to the company before making a commercial offer, including working closely with legal and commercial advisors to scrutinise the terms of the transaction.

The Deed of Forfeiture contains the terms and conditions which would be required by a commercial lender.

20th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they took into consideration British Steel’s acquisition of Ascoval when reaching their decision on lending to that company.

The purchase of Ascoval was undertaken by the shareholder, and not by British Steel.

16th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in extending credit to British Steel, they took into account (1) the management of the borrower, (2) the value for money provided by Greybull Capital in respect of their management charges and other related party transfers, and (3) the use of a capital structure by British Steel that requires interest payments to Greybull parties based offshore.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer I gave to him on 10 May 2019 to Question HL15469.

16th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they make an assessment of the culture towards tax compliance of private sector companies who apply to them for loans and credit support; and whether they (1) have, and (2) will, reject applications from those judged to be overly aggressive in tax planning or subject to unacceptably high management charges from related offshore parties.

Through the British Business Bank, financial support to small businesses is facilitated via a number of delivery partners who provide a range of debt and equity finance.

The British Business Bank has a thorough due diligence process for its delivery partners which includes a robust review and assessment framework for how delivery partners award the finance, monitored through independent auditors. The British Business Bank also has a tax policy that is published in the transparency section of its website.

9th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to undertake a review of the management of conflicts of interest arising when, in a contested takeover situation, institutional investors hold shares for clients, or under their own account, in both the bidder and target companies.

It is not uncommon for some investors to hold shares in both the bidder and target companies and rules mandated by the Financial Conduct Authority provide transparency to the market about share ownership. Takeover decisions are ultimately a matter for shareholders and the UK’s takeover rules require bidders to secure the approval of a majority of shareholders in the target company.

1st May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the terms of their commercial loan to British Steel; and what consideration they have given to financing other companies in a similar position.

The terms of the commercial agreement between the Government and British Steel are set out in letters from the Permanent Secretary to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee and the Comptroller & Auditor General, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Government has been in regular communication with all EU ETS participants since November 2017 to notify of the risks associated with a no deal scenario. All UK installations met their 2018 obligations in full before the compliance deadline on the 30th April.

24th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have had any discussions with British Steel or its owners Greybull Capital in connection with the sale by British Steel of its carbon credits; and whether they propose to lend money to those parties or otherwise provide funding.

I refer the noble Lord to the statement made by my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 1st May 2019, Official Report, Column 209-211, on British Steel: EU Emissions Trading Compliance.

24th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to commission a review of the use of Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs), in particular to consider whether CVAs are used in good faith by landlords who have weakened the lessor covenant through previous payments of high dividends or capital distributions.

Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs) are a valuable part of the restructuring framework and there are no plans to review their use at this time. The Government consulted on a wide-ranging package of reforms to corporate insolvency in 2018, to enhance rescue prospects and also to address poor corporate behaviour. Following this consultation, Government announced it will strengthen the powers available to insolvency practitioners to take recovery action where value has been extracted from a company prior to its insolvency, thereby increasing the protections already available to creditors. These proposals will be introduced when parliamentary time permits.

1st Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review the use of Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA) and the impact on creditors when company owners have removed significant equity via dividends or capital reconstruction ahead of the CVA process.

The Government consulted on a wide-ranging package of reforms to corporate insolvency generally in 2018 and there are no plans to review the use of Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVA’s) at this time. CVA’s are a valuable part of the restructuring framework. Following this consultation, Government announced it will strengthen the powers available to insolvency practitioners to take recovery action where value has been extracted from a company prior to its insolvency, thereby increasing the protections already available to creditors. These proposals will be introduced when parliamentary time permits.

19th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to assess whether Company Voluntary Arrangements effectively protect the economic interests of HMRC, and those of creditors and property owners.

Company voluntary arrangements are a valuable part of the restructuring framework and the Government does not intend to conduct a review of them at this time. A company voluntary arrangement allows a financially distressed company to restructure its debts and avoid liquidation or administration. Approval of more than 75% of creditors is required to pass a company voluntary arrangement and any creditor may still apply to court if it feels its interests are being unfairly prejudiced, this provides an important safeguard for creditors, including HMRC and property owners.

24th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have instructed the Insolvency Service to review matters relating to Patisserie Valerie and its ownership; and if not, why not.

When a company enters administration, the administrators have to report to my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the conduct of the directors.

In the case of Patisserie Valerie the Insolvency Service will be making early contact with the administrators and other authorities to discuss the directors’ conduct, and to consider whether further steps, such as a detailed investigation, may be necessary.

5th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they were consulted by the Financial Reporting Council on the termination of the employment of Stephen Haddrill and on the financial terms involved.

I can confirm that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy was consulted prior to Stephen Haddrill’s resignation.

Mr Haddrill will serve his one-year notice period to allow for an orderly succession. There are no other financial terms involved.

We will work together with the Financial Reporting Council to appoint their new Chief Executive following the conclusion of the independent review of the Financial Reporting Council.

24th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they (1) were consulted by, or (2) have engaged with, SoftBank on the sale by that company of the intellectual property of Arm Holdings to a Chinese subsidiary of SoftBank; and what assessment they have made of the consistency of that sale with their position that "Britain is open for business".

The UK is open for business - it is our ambition that the country remains one of the most attractive destinations in the world for inwards investment.

The Government was not consulted by the Softbank group, however as part of our regular engagement with ARM, the Government was aware of the proposal for its Chinese subsidiary to enter into a joint venture.

Sale of the subsidiary did not breach undertakings given at the time of Softbank’s acquisition of ARM.

2nd Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will review their decision not to publish the Insolvency Service report into the failure of BHS following the Financial Reporting Council's announcement that it will publish its report into the auditing of BHS.

The Insolvency Service is currently bringing disqualification proceedings against a number of former directors of BHS and connected companies. As these matters may now be tested in court it would not be appropriate to comment or issue further information at this time. Once the disqualification proceedings are complete government will consider what detail it is appropriate to publish, having full regard to any legal restrictions on publication and also the legitimate public interest in the cause of the BHS failure.

9th May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their timetable for implementing the recommendations of the Made Smarter Review.

We have been working hard with Industry and Whitehall colleagues to consider how to build on existing pilot activities and align programmes in areas such as skills, and research and development. We are also exploring how to better coordinate institutions, such as Catapults and research bodies, to help realise the opportunities Made Smarter highlights for manufacturing across the UK.

These discussions will continue throughout 2018/19. In February, my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced two developments:

  • He asked Sir Mark Walport to work with Juergen Maier on the development of an Industrial Strategy Challenge on the digitalisation of our manufacturing industry. Successful proposals will be announced later in the year.
  • The Made Smarter Commission, an industry/government collaboration to lead on the future of UK manufacturing and provide governance for a future sector deal. Membership is currently being considered and we anticipate further announcements in the coming weeks.
9th May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in establishing an independent Industrial Strategy Council.

The Industrial Strategy Council will develop measures to assess and evaluate the government’s progress in delivering on the ambitions set out in the Industrial Strategy. We are finalising the terms of reference and membership of the Council and further details will be set out in more detail shortly.

28th Mar 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will instruct the Insolvency Service to publish its report into the collapse of BHS.

Following the collapse of BHS in 2015, the Insolvency Service carried out an investigation into the conduct of the former directors of the company and has recently announced that it intends to bring proceedings to disqualify four of the former directors from running or controlling a company for up to fifteen years. The Insolvency Service gathers evidence against individuals, it does not produce a report into the full investigation. On the conclusion of an investigation and once any legal proceedings have been completed, if any directors are disqualified the Insolvency Service will publish the details of the disqualifications and will notify Companies House which keeps the statutory register of disqualifications.

In view, however, of the exceptional public interest in this investigation, and once any legal proceedings have been completed, the Insolvency Service will consider what further information it can legitimately publish.

29th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 25 January (HL4836), how many Insolvency Service reports have been published since January 2015; and how many reports have been completed and not published since that date.

Following its investigation of a director’s conduct the Insolvency Service does not prepare or publish specific reports. It will put any allegations of misconduct to the directors and seek their explanation. Should the case go to Court, the matter would be prepared as a court affidavit.

Following disqualification, the Insolvency Service publishes a summary of the misconduct online in every case.

17th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will commit to publish the report of the Insolvency Service into the failure of Carillion.

Once the investigation is complete, the Government will consider what detail it is appropriate to publish having full regard to any legal restrictions on publication, and also the legitimate public interest in the cause of Carillion’s failure.

8th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 22 December 2017 (HL4283), what assessment they have made of (1) the sufficiency of the independence of the Financial Reporting Council from the accounting industry to monitor the provision of auditing services in accordance with the EU Audit Regulation, and (2) whether conflicts of interest are managed in a way that encourages confidence in audit quality.

The Government regularly reviews the governance arrangements of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) prior to any additional delegation of the Secretary of State’s functions or as part of implementing regulatory changes. Most recently in preparation for the implementation of the new EU Audit Directive and Regulation, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) made changes to make sure that its governance arrangements met the enhanced requirements of the new Directive and Regulation.

The FRC has implemented a number of the recommendations made by the Competition Commission in 2013 on the reporting of its audit inspection findings and has made other changes to improve the transparency of that process. These changes contribute to confidence in the quality of the audit regulatory system and therefore in the quality of the audits as a whole.

21st Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, whether they intend to submit a response to the independent review of the Financial Reporting Council's enforcement and sanctions published in October.

The determination of sanctioning policy is a matter for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as part of the independent exercise of its powers. The FRC commissioned an independent review by Sir Christopher Clarke QC of its framework of sanctions in March 2017.

The review concluded with the publication of a report and recommendations on 21 November 2017.

It is now a matter for the FRC to take forward the implementation of the recommendations. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will work with the FRC to support them in their implementation of the recommendations as needed.

18th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the concentration of the auditing profession; and whether any such concentration is eroding confidence in audits.

The Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation into competition in the audit market for companies in the FTSE 350 in 2011. It published its conclusions in 2013. The report is available at www.gov.uk/cma-cases/statutory-audit-services-market-investigation and can be found attached.

The new EU Audit Regulation requires the competent authority for each Member State to monitor the audit market for all Public Interest Entities (banks, building societies, insurers and companies with securities traded on an EU regulated market). As the UK competent authority, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) publishes its findings in its annual Key Facts and Trends. It also publishes an annual report on Developments in Audit. Both are available on the FRC’s website, as are annual reports on the quality of audits by each of the six largest audit firms.

This information is used to contribute each to a triennial report by the European Commission on monitoring developments in the EU market for statutory audit services to public-interest entities pursuant to Article 27 of the new EU Audit Regulation. The 2017 report can be accessed at https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/170907-statutory-audit-services-report_en and can be found attached.

31st Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the report of the Insolvency Service into the collapse of the retailer Comet has not been published; and whether they will reconsider that decision, in the light of the collapse of Monarch Airlines and the role of Greybull Capital as an investor in both companies.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my noble Friend Lord Prior of Brampton to Question UIN HL5215

24th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the position of KPMG as administrators to Monarch Airlines, in the light of that firm's commercial relationships with Monarch, Greybull Capital, the owner of Monarch, and Greybull's offshore affiliates.

Government does not have a role in the appointment of administrators, nor does it have direct control of their actions. All insolvency practitioners are subject to an insolvency code of ethics, which sets out the fundamental principles of integrity, objectivity and confidentiality.

Prior to accepting an insolvency appointment, the insolvency practitioner must check whether the appointment might carry any threat to these fundamental principles, for example a conflict of interest and If the threat cannot be reduced to an acceptable level, they should not accept an appointment.

9th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to review the effectiveness of the Financial Reporting Council and its independence from the accounting industry.

As part of its green paper consultation on Corporate Governance Reform, the Government invited suggestions on how the UK’s corporate governance framework could be strengthened and on strengthening the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) ability to monitor and enforce corporate governance reporting. The Government response to the consultation published on 29 August this year summarised the consultation responses and set out its conclusions and proposals which include giving further consideration to whether the FRC has the appropriate powers, resources and status to operate effectively. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working closely with the FRC on these issues. The FRC is required to report formally to the Secretary of State each year and these annual reports are laid before Parliament for review by both Houses.

5th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they regard the technology and payments company Worldpay to be a strategic national asset, and whether it intends to intervene to order a review of the proposed takeover of the company by a non–British purchaser.

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, Ministers have powers to intervene in mergers which raise public interest concerns in relation to national security, financial stability and media plurality. If the Government decides that there are grounds for intervention and that it should exercise its powers under the Enterprise Act in this case, it will make an announcement.

3rd Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the criteria and principles for deciding whether to publish a report by the Insolvency Service; and who makes that decision.

The Insolvency Service undertakes investigations under a variety of legislative provisions. In some of these investigations there are legal restrictions on disclosure of the information obtained.

Where an application, whether to wind up a company or disqualify a director, is made to the court then the disclosure of any report filed in support of the application is a matter for the court.

In all cases, if any directors are disqualified the Insolvency Service publishes the details of the disqualification on its website (for three months).

3rd Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether ministers have had discussions with NuGen concerning the impact of the placing into administration of Westinghouse on the development of the Moorside nuclear power station; and whether they plan to offer state funding to ensure that that station is completed on time.

Ministers and officials are in regular contact with NuGen and other developers of proposed new nuclear projects about a range of issues, including financing.

3rd Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 20 March (HL5833), what criteria they will employ to assess the impact of the voluntary package of pre-pack administration reforms for the body that will make the assessment as to whether further regulation of pre-pack administration is needed.

The 2015 voluntary reforms were based on recommendations made by the independent Graham Review into Pre-pack Administration in 2014. The assessment of those reforms will focus on the suboptimal behaviour in some pre-packs described in the Graham Review’s report - that they lacked transparency and that their marketing and valuation methods could be improved – and whether the voluntary reforms have had an impact on their effect.

9th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they were consulted by SoftBank before that company's sale of an interest in ARM Holdings; and what assessment they have made of the extent to which that disposal is consistent with the commitments which were secured by the Government from SoftBank at the time they endorsed its investment.

The Takeover Panel is responsible for the enforcement of post-offer undertakings.

6th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review pre-pack administration, in the light of reports that the system is being abused in relation to creditors and commercial property owners.

In 2014, the independent Graham Review into pre-pack administration commissioned by Government found that pre-packs were a useful business rescue tool but that there was evidence of less successful outcomes where the pre-pack sale was to a connected party. A voluntary, industry-led package of reforms to pre-pack administration based on the Graham Review’s recommendations commenced in November 2015.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 created a power for Government to make regulations to impose conditions on property sales to connected parties in administration (including via a pre-pack). This power expires in May 2020. Government will assess the impact of the voluntary package of reforms and consider whether further regulation is needed prior to the power’s expiration.

3rd Feb 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish the report of the Insolvency Service investigation into the failure of BHS.

I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my noble Friend Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 15 June 2016 to Question UIN HL486.

23rd Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the policy position on EU negotiations outlined by the Prime Minister in her Lancaster House speech will lead to financial obligations under the deal agreed with Nissan.

The policy position outlined on EU negotiations will not lead to financial obligations to Nissan.

11th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will include a provision in the sale agreement of the Green Investment Bank to require a clawback of all, or a significant part, of any disposal proceeds, and whether they intend to publish at the time of the sale the scale of such disposals they anticipate.

Details of the sale negotiations are commercially confidential.

Government will provide a full report to Parliament once a sale is completed which will set out the details of the sale and how our objectives (including value for money) were met.

11th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government who will advise them on the acceptability of the proceeds to be achieved by the sale of the Green Investment Bank; and what is the process by which the Secretary of State will establish his view on value after receiving this advice.

The sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) is being led by UK Government Investments, with advice from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Herbert Smith Freehills. GIB and their advisors (UBS and Slaughter and May) are also providing significant and closely coordinated support.

The Government is following the National Audit Office’s recommendations on asset sales in carrying out the sale of shares in GIB, as set out in the document “Green Investment Bank: sale of shares” laid before Parliament on 3 March 2016.

31st Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have given Nissan any letter of comfort or undertakings that have not also been given to other businesses in connection with investment in new production capacity in the UK; and if so, what they were and whether they will publish copies of the correspondence.

I refer the noble Lord to the statement I made to the House on this matter on 31 October 2016, Official Report, Vol 776. Col; 491-93.

17th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will disclose the proposals made by the Prime Minister to Renault Nissan concerning protecting new investment in Sunderland from the impact of potential EU tariffs; and whether similar protection will be offered to other motor vehicle manufacturers, component suppliers and firms that compete with Renault Nissan for capital, labour and land.

The Government is in close contact with Nissan, as it is with the sector more broadly. It will be a priority of Government negotiations to support all UK based car manufacturers and ensure that their ability to export to and from the EU is not adversely affected by the UK's future relationship with the EU. However, we do not provide a running commentary on our discussions with individual companies.

20th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they propose to enforce the commitments they have obtained from SoftBank in connection with employment and the location of the headquarters of ARM Holdings.

The Takeover Panel is responsible for enforcing the post offer undertakings given by SoftBank under the terms of the Takeover Code. Grant Thornton LLP has been appointed as an independent supervisor under the Code to monitor compliance with the undertakings. The Takeover Panel can require SoftBank to submit written progress reports in such form and as frequently as it requires and can take disciplinary action if the undertakings are not fulfilled. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will continue to monitor developments.

20th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to introduce legislation restricting the acquisition of key UK companies by foreign investors while they consider their industrial strategy.

As we build an economy that works for all, the Government will keep the law on takeovers under constant review.

20th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what powers they have to review the financial capacity of SoftBank to support ARM Holdings, and in particular whether they can require a further injection of capital into ARM Holdings before any takeover occurs.

It is for the parties to the proposed transaction to consider their relative positions in compliance with the Takeover Code. The board of the target company must take independent advice on the offer, and evaluate its effects on the company’s interests, before giving the board’s opinion to shareholders.

20th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they consulted experts in the field before publicly welcoming the acquisition of ARM Holdings by SoftBank, and whether they would similarly welcome a rival bid from an international private equity investor.

SoftBank has made it clear that it intends to invest in ARM, keep its HQ in the UK, and at least double the employee headcount in the UK. The Government welcomes this. No rival bids for ARM have so far been made.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Mar 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much matched funding HM Treasury has transferred to Evening Standard charity appeals since May 2010.

The Office for Civil Society has granted £2.2m of direct funding for the London Community Foundation's 'Dispossessed Fund' since 2010.

This fund is also supported by the Evening Standard, with nearly £18 million raised in total so far. This fund has supported hundreds of community groups across the capital to build social infrastructure in areas of poverty, help communities take control of issues that are affecting them and to tackle specific problems such as gang culture among young people.

Lord Ashton of Hyde
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
16th Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action the Department for Culture, Media and Sport takes to ensure that the trustees of the BBC Trust meet their time commitments and that they physically attend meetings rather than participating by telephone.

There is no requirement on Government to monitor internal BBC Trust processes such as attendance at meetings or overall time requirements on Trustees. The BBC Trust reports on Trustees' attendance in the BBC Annual Report which can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/annualreport/2014/bbc-trust/inside-the-trust/governance.html

23rd Feb 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Prime Minister appointed Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint as a trustee and chair of the Natural History Museum; and from whom advice was taken on that appointment.

The Prime Minister appointed Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint as Trustee of the Natural History Museum on 1st April 2014; Lord Green's appointment as Chair was made by the Board of Trustees. The appointment of Lord Green was made following an open competition and in making this decision the Prime Minister took advice from the Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sport.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what plans there are to use WhatsApp to alert members of the House about votes taking place using the remote voting system.

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

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

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

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

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

25th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Charity Commission about any investigation of the governance of Christ Church College, University of Oxford.

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

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

25th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of first class degrees awarded by the (1) University of Surrey, and (2) University of Bradford; whether they have had any discussions with those universities about the number of such degrees awarded; and if so, what were the outcomes of any such discussions.

The Higher Education and Research Act 2017 established a new independent regulator in England, the Office for Students (OfS). The act gives the OfS powers to assess the quality and standards applied to higher education by English providers.

The government has made it clear in guidance to the OfS that grade inflation must be tackled. In their strategy, attached, the OfS includes ensuring “qualifications hold their value over time” as a key objective. In December 2018, the OfS published analysis of changes in degree classifications between 2010-11 and 2016-17, which is attached. This includes data on the University of Surrey and the University of Bradford.

On 24 March, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education called for universities to end the steep rise of “unjustifiable” first class degrees which is a threat to the world class reputation of the university sector, and risks undermining the efforts of hard working students. The government expects the OfS, when it has its full range of powers, to challenge those institutions that record an unjustifiable rise in the proportion of top degrees being awarded.

The OfS’ statutory powers are on course to be strengthened through new regulations due to be laid in Parliament later this year, which will allow the OfS to levy fines of up to £500,000 or 2% of a university’s income (whichever is higher). The UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment is developing sector-recognised standards to ensure that all degree awards are consistent and fair - due to be completed this academic year. Together, these measures will strengthen the regulator’s ability to challenge universities with unwarranted grade inflation and hold them to account.

Any university found to be damaging students’ interests could be subject to sanctions such as placing additional conditions on their registration, fines, or in the worst case scenario removing a university’s powers to award degrees.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
26th Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action, if any, they propose to take to improve the funding of the Universities Staff Superannuation Fund; and whether they intend to consider taking steps to allow universities to increase income, including through commercial activities, to increase employer contributions to pension schemes.

Higher education providers are autonomous institutions and they are responsible for making appropriate pension provision for their staff. The government believes that it is for universities to resolve the current dispute regarding reforms to the Universities Superannuation Scheme through dialogue between Universities UK and the University and College Union.

As autonomous providers, universities are already able to undertake commercial activities.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
11th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to take action to limit university course fees which do not represent value for money for students; and if so, on what basis they intend to determine which courses provide value for money.

The Government has introduced the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment, to tackle concerns about value for money in Higher Education. Only providers who successfully achieve a high quality rating under the TEF will be permitted to maintain their fees in line with inflation.

The results of the TEF assessment gives students clear information about where teaching quality is best and where students have achieved the best outcomes. This will promote student choice and encourage a stronger focus on the quality of teaching, as higher education providers will need to ensure they are giving students, their parents and the taxpayer value for money.

Furthermore, the Office for Students, once established, has a general duty under section 2 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 to have regard to the need to promote value for money in the provision of Higher Education by English Higher Education providers.

11th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to place a cap on student loans, in order to prevent any increase in the total debt arising as a result of the interest paid being less than the interest accrued in any one year.

The student funding system removes financial barriers for anyone hoping to study and is backed by the taxpayer. A key feature of the scheme is that outstanding debt – including any interest accrued that has not been repaid by the end of the loan term – is written off after 30 years. This means that borrowers are protected if their repayments are less than the interest accruing on their accounts.

Monthly student loan repayments are linked to income, not to interest rates or the amount borrowed. Borrowers earning less than the repayment threshold (£21,000) repay nothing at all.

Once borrowers leave study, those earning less than £21,000 are charged an interest rate of RPI only. Post-study interest rates are variable based on income, tapering up from RPI for those earning less than £21,000 to RPI+3% for borrowers earning £41,000 and above. The system of variable interest rates based on income makes the system more progressive, as higher earners contribute more to the sustainability of the higher education system.

We have a world class student finance system that is working well, and that has led to record numbers of disadvantaged students benefiting from higher education. As ever, we will keep the detailed features of the system under review to ensure it remains fair and effective.

21st Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to protect and promote oyster farming on the banks of the Helford River in Cornwall.

The shellfish industry is an important contributor to the UK economy and is worth over £250 million annually.

Government policy is to facilitate industry-led growth in this sector; it is for private enterprise and the owners of sites to consider the benefits of oyster farming on the banks of the Helford River in Cornwall.

Public funds are currently available to support economic growth in the aquaculture sector through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). In November 2015, the UK Government published a Multiannual National Plan for Aquaculture which outlines areas of growth earmarked for support under the EMFF.

In addition, the Shellfish Act 1967 exists to encourage the setting up and management of private and natural fisheries through Several and Regulating Orders, which grant exclusive fishing or management rights within a designated area.

23rd Mar 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much the UK contributes towards the subsidisation of sugar production.

Sugar production is not directly subsidised in the UK. However, sugar beet growers in the UK are entitled to make a claim for support under the Basic Payment Scheme of the Common Agricultural Policy.

27th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they support a second referendum on Brexit.

After a period of sustained public debate, a clear majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU in June 2016 with the highest number of votes cast for anything in UK electoral history. We must respect both the will of the British people, and the democratic process which delivered this result. As such, it is a matter of Government policy that there will not be a second referendum on our exit from the EU.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Nov 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government under what circumstances they would seek a second vote in the House of Commons on their Brexit proposals if they lose the meaningful vote.

If the House of Commons votes against the withdrawal agreement and future framework, the provisions of section 13(4) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 will apply. This would require a Minister of the Crown, within the period of 21 calendar days beginning with the day on which the House of Commons decides not to pass the resolution, to make a statement setting out how Her Majesty’s Government proposed to proceed in relation to negotiations for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government following the comments by the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU on the Andrew Marr Show on 10 December that the Brussels undertaking was "more of a statement of intent than (it was) a legally enforceable thing", whether those comments represent their official policy.

Both the UK and the EU have been clear that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We are clear that we want to honour the agreements set out in the joint report.

As the Secretary of State clarified on Thursday 14 December in Parliament, ‘the Withdrawal Agreement will be a treaty, and treaties are binding on this country.’ Therefore, the agreement will be captured in the Withdrawal Agreement, which will be legally enforceable.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the comments by the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on 10 December that the agreement reached with the EU on 8 December was a "statement of intent", whether they consider that agreement to be binding.

Both the UK and the EU have been clear that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We are clear that we want to honour the agreements set out in the joint report.

As the Secretary of State clarified on Thursday 14 December in Parliament, ‘the Withdrawal Agreement will be a treaty, and treaties are binding on this country.’ Therefore, the agreement will be captured in the Withdrawal Agreement, which will be legally enforceable.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have taken legal advice on whether they can revoke or pause the Article 50 two year timetable.

It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on legal advice that may or may not have been received. A clear majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU and we will respect the will of the British people. As a matter of firm policy, our notification will not be withdrawn, for the simple reason that people voted to leave. And we are determined to see through that instruction.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to EU member states regarding the cost of new customs facilities and infrastructure that would be required in the event of a no deal outcome from the Brexit negotiations.

Alongside our negotiations with the European Commission on the UK's exit from the European Union, the Government has regular and extensive engagement with EU Member States. These discussions lay the groundwork for constructive dialogue as we seek a successful outcome with the European Union.

19th Jul 2017
Her Majesty's Government whether they have taken legal advice on whether the UK can revoke the triggering of Article 50.

A clear majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU and we will respect the will of the British people. This was reinforced by the fact that in the last general election over eighty percent voted for parties committed to respecting the outcome of the referendum. There can be no attempts to remain inside the EU and no attempt to rejoin it. There is no precedent for a country triggering Article 50, let alone seeking to reverse such a decision. As a matter of firm policy, our notification will not be withdrawn - for the simple reason that people voted to leave. And we are determined to see through that instruction.

9th Dec 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Commissioners of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact receive funding to cover travel and hotel expenses ahead of visits, or whether they are reimbursed for meeting those costs personally.

The majority of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) commissioners’ air and rail journeys and hotels are booked in advance by the ICAI secretariat through DFID’s internal travel system to ensure value for money in line with DFID/ICAI guidance. These invoices are then verified and settled by the Secretariat. In the minority of cases where travel cannot be booked in advance, commissioners pay up-front and their submitted expense claims with receipts are then verified by the Head of the Secretariat and reimbursed.

14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to apply to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to establish a scheme to retrain as trade negotiators people with experience of high level intergovernmental and global institutional practice.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has created the Department for International Trade, which is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us. We are building up our trade policy capability. ​The Department has begun a process to recruit and train staff to work on the UK’s trade policy. We will adapt the resource devoted to trade policy in line with future demands.

8th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last communicated with Greybull Capital and Petrol Jersey Limited about the repayment of the costs to taxpayers of repatriating UK passengers of Monarch Airlines when that airline collapsed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many matters are outstanding in calculating the cost to taxpayers of repatriating Monarch Airlines passengers to the United Kingdom; whether independent accountants have been appointed and given access to papers in order to assist in calculating that cost; and what enquiries have been made to Greybull and its associates in the last year about the collapse of that airline.

The calculation of the final cost to the taxpayer of repatriating Monarch Airlines passengers will depend on the outcome of the administration process, which is not due to conclude until October 2020. As such, the Department for Transport has not appointed independent accountants nor given them access to associated paper work at this time.

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

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their current estimate for the cost of repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines to the UK assumes a contribution from (1) the owners, and (2) any associate, of Greybull Capital; and when ministers or officials last contacted Greybull Capital about its willingness to make a contribution to that cost.

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

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

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

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

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they took steps, in the light of the collapse of Monarch Airlines and the expenditure of public funds in repatriating travellers, to ensure that public funds will not be irrecoverably spent in repatriating customers of Thomas Cook; and if so, what steps.

The failure of Thomas Cook is one of the largest travel company failures we have ever seen. A failure of this size, and the number of passengers affected, is unprecedented. In these circumstances, it is right that the Government should step in and help affected passengers return home as smoothly as possible. We are seeking to minimise the impact on the Government and taxpayers by recovering costs where appropriate through the ATOL scheme, credit card companies and travel insurance.

The majority of Thomas Cook passengers are ATOL protected and the costs for repatriating those passengers will be covered by the ATOL scheme.

An independent Airline Insolvency Review, chaired by Peter Bucks concluded earlier this year and the Government published the final report on 9 May 2019. The Review also acknowledged there was no “silver bullet or one-size-fits-all” solution, to ensure consumer protection in the event of airline insolvency. The recommendations are complex and represent an evolutionary, incremental policy approach over many years that takes into account an expected implementation period. The Government is actively considering the recommendations of the review and is committed to taking steps accordingly.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in obtaining a financial contribution from Greybull Capital towards the cost of the return to the UK of passengers on Monarch Airlines consequent on the withdrawal of financial support by Greybull Capital; what is their assessment of whether Greybull Capital and associates are likely to make a profit on their investment in Greybull Capital; whether any such profit will be assessable to UK tax; and when Ministers last had contact with Greybull Capital.

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

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

The extent of any profit or loss from Greybull Capital and Petrol Jersey Limited’s investment in Monarch Airlines will depend on the outcome of the administration process, which is not due to conclude until October 2020.

Profits made by corporations are subject to the tax laws relevant to their jurisdiction. Petrol Jersey Limited is a company which is incorporated in Jersey. It would be for HM Revenue and Customs to confirm whether any such profit would be assessable to tax in the UK.

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

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what targets they have set, if any, to increase the number of electric car charge points on roads and motorways; and what steps they are taking to meet such targets.

The Government’s ambition is to have one of the best infrastructure networks in the world for electric vehicles, and we want chargepoints to be accessible, reliable, affordable and secure. We want the transition to 2040 to be consumer and market-led, supported by the measures set out in the Road to Zero strategy. We also want to encourage and leverage private sector investment to build and operate a self-sustaining public network supported by the right policy framework.

Government funding and leadership, alongside private sector investment, has supported the installation of more than 20,000 public chargepoints. This includes 2,000 rapid chargepoints; one of the largest rapid networks in Europe.

The Prime Minister has asked the Office for Low Emission Vehicles to go further and work with industry to set out a vision, by Autumn 2019, for a core infrastructure network of rapid and high powered chargepoints across England’s key road network. The Government’s grant schemes and the £400m public-private Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund will also see thousands more chargepoints installed across the UK.

Highways England has committed £15m to ensure there is a chargepoint which is rapid where possible, every 20 miles on 95% of the Strategic Road Network by 2020. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Act gives Government powers to ensure appropriate provision of chargepoints at motorway service areas and large fuel retailers if needed.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote the use of electric vehicles.

The Government’s mission is to put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero emission vehicles, and for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040.

The Road to Zero Strategy sets out a clear pathway to zero emissions. By 2030 we want at least half of new cars sold, and as many as 70%, to be ultra low emission, alongside up to 40% of new vans. To achieve this, we are investing nearly £1.5bn‎ between April 2015 and March 2021, with grants available for plug in vehicles, and schemes to support charge point infrastructure at homes and workplaces and on residential streets. We have also put in place a favourable tax regime that rewards the cleanest vehicles.

To accelerate the shift to zero emission cars, all zero emission models will pay no company car tax in 2020-21; 1% in 2021-22 before returning to the planned 2% rate in 2022-23 – a significant tax saving for employees and employers. This adds up to one of the most comprehensive support packages in the world for the transition to zero emission vehicles.

The Government has been supporting vehicle manufacturers, technology companies and academia in delivering a major programme of R&D into cleaner vehicle technologies. For example, we announced nearly £40m investment in 12 projects to support innovation in wireless and on-street charging technology to encourage uptake of electric vehicles.

The Prime Minister announced that we are also consulting on proposals for chargepoints to be installed with all newly built homes in England, where appropriate, and on the introduction of smart chargepoints. To improve the consumer charging experience, we want to see all newly installed public rapid and higher powered chargepoints to offer debit/credit card payment from Spring 2020.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 22 May (HL15602), whether they would drop a stated qualifying condition for a bidder for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise without informing other registered bidders; and if not, why they cannot answer the question put on the grounds of it being a live competition.

The Department evaluates tenders for the West Coast Partnership in accordance with the processes set out in the Invitation to Tender. This is done to ensure the Department meets its obligations to treat all bidders fairly and equally. The Department does not comment on live competitions in compliance with its contractual and legal obligations.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether FirstGroup has met all Department of Transport criteria on railways pensions as a shortlisted bidder for the West Coast Partnership rail franchise.

The Department does not comment on a live competition. Please note that all bids received for any franchise competition are evaluated against the requirements and instructions set out in the relevant Invitation To Tender.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they last talked with Greybull Capital about it contributing to the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch passengers after the airline collapsed.

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

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

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

The extent of any profit or loss from Greybull Capital and Petrol Jersey Limited’s investment in Monarch Airlines will depend on the outcome of the administration process, which is not due to conclude until October 2020.

I refer to the Written Ministerial Statement made by the Secretary of State on 9 May 2019, which reported that the final cost to the taxpayer from the Monarch repatriation have been assessed to be £40.5m. This does not include any contribution from Greybull Capital or the principal shareholder, Petrol Jersey Limited. We do not expect any material change to the final cost to the taxpayer.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
24th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 12 March (HL14267), whether the contribution promised by Greybull to meet part of the cost incurred by taxpayers in repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines is dependent on the completion of the administration of the Monarch group of companies; and when ministers last met Greybull in connection with Greybull's contribution to costs.

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

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

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

The extent of any profit or loss from Greybull Capital and Petrol Jersey Limited’s investment in Monarch Airlines will depend on the outcome of the administration process, which is not due to conclude until October 2020.

I refer to the Written Ministerial Statement made by the Secretary of State on 9 May 2019, which reported that the final cost to the taxpayer from the Monarch repatriation have been assessed to be £40.5m. This does not include any contribution from Greybull Capital or the principal shareholder, Petrol Jersey Limited. We do not expect any material change to the final cost to the taxpayer.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 6 March (HL14064), whether conversations involving officials and Arklow Shipping took place before the Department for Transport entered into an agreement or signed heads of forms with Seaborne Freight.

Support from Arklow formed part of the conditions precedent to the contract. Information from Arklow was provided in accordance with the condition of the initial agreement.

5th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 28 February (HL13791), how much of the cost to the taxpayer of repatriating customers of Monarch airlines to the UK has been met by the owners or associates, including Greybull Capital, of the airline.

To date the Government has not received any payment from Greybull or Monarch’s investors. The administration of the Monarch group of companies continues and the Government is finalising contributions from the travel industry. We are grateful for the companies that have contributed to the costs of repatriating their customers, demonstrating their corporate social responsibility.

Following on from the experience of Monarch, the Secretary of State for Transport commissioned an independent Airline Insolvency Review which is expected to report by spring 2019.

26th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 21 February (HL13660), whether any Ministers or officials have met representatives or agents of Arklow Shipping Limited in connection with Seaborne Freight.

There were a number of conversations involving officials and Arklow Shipping before it withdrew support, leading to termination of the Department’s contract with Seaborne.

18th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to repatriate UK passengers stranded overseas by the collapse of Flybmi; and whether they intend to take action to minimise the cost of such repatriations to the UK taxpayer.

The Department recognises that this is a disruptive time for passengers, and the government’s immediate priority is to support those affected.

The Department of Transport is working closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the travel industry to ensure that the collapse of Flybmi is managed with minimal impact to affected passengers. Given the number of consumers affected, the CAA believes that there is sufficient capacity available in the market to repatriate passengers as necessary. The CAA has put in place comprehensive consumer advice to allow passengers to make their own travel arrangements. The majority of such passengers will be able to recover costs through their credit / debit card bookings, or from travel insurance. A significant number of affected passengers also hold tickets from other airlines who will be responsible for making alternative flights. The CAA has also received a strong positive response to its request to industry to make discounted rescue fares available, and details have been made available on the CAA website. These actions ensure that the cost of repatriation to the UK will not be borne by HMG and therefore UK taxpayers.

18th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much progress has been made in recovering from the owners of Monarch Airlines the costs incurred by UK taxpayers in repatriating that airline’s passengers.

The Government has made good progress in recovering monies from a variety of sources including credit card companies and tour operators. We are grateful for the companies that have contributed to the costs of repatriating their customers, demonstrating their corporate social responsibility and encourage others to follow their example.

In October 2017 we estimated that the total cost of the repatriation operation would be £60m. The actual cost of the repatriation operation is currently estimated to be about £50m and we do not expect this number to change significantly. Following on from the experience of Monarch, the Secretary of State for Transport commissioned an independent Airline Insolvency Review which is expected to report by spring 2019.

12th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government which advisers were used by the Department of Transport to conduct due diligence on Arklow Shipping Limited in connection to the award of a shipping contract to Seabourne Freight; and whether any ministers or officials met representatives or agents of Arklow Shipping Limited as part of that process.

Due diligence was undertaken for all three ferry freight contracts at a level proportionate to the Department's prospective contractual relations. In recognition that Seaborne Freight was a start-up business, the contract with Seaborne required them to provide evidence about its financial backers. In part because of the withdrawal of Arklow Shipping, Seaborne was unable to provide this evidence to satisfy these contractual milestones, contributing to Secretary of State’s decision unilaterally to terminate the contract.

7th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to public expenditure of repatriating to the UK customers of Monarch Airlines; and what contribution to this cost they are seeking to reclaim from the airline's owners, investors, and associates.

In October 2017, the Government estimated that the total cost of Monarch’s repatriation operation would be £60m. The actual cost of repatriation is estimated to be about £50m and the Government does not expect this number to change significantly.

As the administration of Monarch has yet to conclude, the Department continues to discuss contributions from the travel industry and the investors and estate of the company towards taxpayers costs.

7th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the use of auctions to award rail franchises; and whether they intend to use the same process to award future franchises.

The Williams Rail Review is looking at the current franchising system and considering how it can best support the public and private sector to work together, while delivering benefits for passengers, freight and taxpayers.

The Department will publish a White Paper on the review’s recommendations, with the implementation of reforms planned to start from 2020. Whilst the Review is underway, we will continue to work closely with the industry to ensure that rail delivers the day-to-day performance and transformational improvements that passengers expect.

7th Jan 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government who were the external advisers appointed to conduct due diligence on Seabourne Freight and that company’s owners and management in advance of the Government entering into a contract with that firm; what was the scope of that work; and how much was paid in fees for such work.

The advisers concerned are Slaughter & May (legal advice), Deloitte UK (financial advice) and Mott MacDonald (technical assurance). The contracts remain live, so it is not yet possible to determine the total of fees paid.

30th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of UK lorry drivers available for the onward transport of goods arriving at UK ports in their contingency plans for cross channel shipping in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The availability of UK-based lorry drivers is a relevant consideration when considering any potential switch from accompanied to unaccompanied freight, and the Government is taking this into account in its planning work.

30th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the capacity of alternative UK ports to accommodate traffic currently carried through Dover in their contingency plans for cross channel shipping in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Department is undertaking a range of analysis to understand the transport implications of various scenarios, and to support the Department’s contingency planning.

30th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have consulted the road logistics and shipping industry on any contingency plans for cross channel shipping in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Government is discussing a range of contingency planning issues with industry, including the road logistics and shipping sectors.

2nd Jul 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in (1) seeking recovery of the costs incurred in repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines to the UK, and (2) their negotiations with Greybull and its associates, the owners of the airline, in contributing to repayment to tax payers.

I refer the noble Lord back to my previous response to his question on 25 April 2018 (HL7119). We are seeking to recover costs of the operation from several third parties, however a final position on cost recoveries is unlikely to be known until the completion of the administration, which may take several months. We are, of course, determined to ensure that as much of taxpayers’ money is recovered as possible.

The administrator, KPMG, has since published a progress report for the administration of Monarch Airlines Limited, which is freely available from http://www.insolvency-kpmg.co.uk. This report provides an interim update, which will inform our ongoing negotiation with Greybull.

We will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

19th Apr 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in negotiations to secure contributions to the cost of repatriating stranded passengers of Monarch airlines from related parties of the airline, including Greybull Capital.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and are seeking to recover costs of the operation from several third parties. This process is ongoing and a final position on cost recoveries is unlikely to be known until the completion of the administration, which may take several months. We will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

20th Feb 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Secretary of State for Transport has the capacity to restrict or ban (1) companies, (2) individuals, and (3) associates, from bidding for rail franchises.

The Department for Transport may suspend or withdraw a Passport in the event that the Passport holder, a member of the administrative, management or supervisory body of the Passport Holder triggers certain requirements within the Passport application. This would restrict or remove The Passport Holder from the bidding for Franchise competitions. The details of the Passport process are set out in the Department’s published documentation, Rail Franchising: Passport Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, a copy of which is attached and will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses (sections B and C pages 13-26 are most relevant).

16th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 5 December 2017 (HL3455), whether they have now established a more refined figure for the costs of repatriation to the UK of customers of Monarch airlines.

We are not yet able to give a final figure for the costs of the repatriation operation as we are awaiting invoices from third parties. In line with the usual transparency guidelines on government expenditure and financial reporting the absolute full and final position will be made clear in the annual accounts for the department, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Air Travel Trust (ATT), which should be published in June 2018.

At this stage, the current forecasts suggest that the total cost of the repatriation operation remain broadly in line with the original estimate of around £60m. As explained in my written answer on 5 December 2017 (HL3455), we are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and are seeking to recover costs of the operation from third parties. We will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

16th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 13 November 2017 (HL2729), whether Greybull Capital made a profit from its investment in Monarch airlines.

Greybull Capital is not itself a shareholder in Monarch Airlines but they do perform an advisory and management role for the principal shareholder, Petrol Jersey Limited. The extent of any profit or loss resulting from Petrol Jersey Limited’s investment in Monarch Airlines has not yet been determined as it will depend on the outcome of the administration process and any asset realisations and distributions that may result from that process. The administration is still ongoing, and the timeline and process for concluding it is being determined by KPMG as administrator.

9th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether officials prepared any estimates for the Secretary of State for Transport of the value transferred, or to be transferred, to the franchisees of the East Coast rail franchise as a result of terminating that franchise; and if so, when.

The Department for Transport is preparing contingency plans as we do not believe that the franchise will be financially viable through to 2020. The Secretary of State has a clear duty to do that for passengers. The Department is in discussions to ensure the needs of passengers and taxpayers are being met in the short term whilst laying the foundations to bring forward the reforms under a future long-term competitively procured contract. When a conclusion to that work is reached, the Secretary of State will make a statement in the House as he undertook to do on 10 January.

8th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Secretary of State for Transport has issued a ministerial direction on any matters related to the termination of the East Coast rail franchise.

The Secretary of State for Transport has not given a ministerial direction in this case. Assessments of Value for Money and the efficient use of public funds will be made at the appropriate stage in our standard processes. All decisions will be guided by HMG’s “Managing Public Money” guidance in the usual way.

8th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether (1) Stagecoach, and (2) Virgin Railways, (a) are obliged, and (b) have committed, to make any payment to HM Government to cover losses that those companies would have incurred under the contract for the East Coast rail franchise.

As with all recent franchise awards, Stagecoach Group PLC committed parent company support, in this case totalling £165million, which they are obliged to inject into the franchise in circumstances where it doesn’t perform as predicted. We will hold them to that commitment in full.

8th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to review the impact of rail price increases on the employment and real incomes of those who commute to London by train from Brighton.

The Government understands the concern about the cost of some rail fares and the impact that this can have on people’s budgets. That is why the Government has ensured that regulated rail fares have, since 2014, risen no faster than RPI inflation. We, of course, continue to monitor our rail fares policies closely and keep them under review.

21st Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to investigate the interest rates set on loans from shareholders to Monarch Airlines Group and determine whether those rates were reasonable in terms of protecting the rights of creditors, employees, pensioners and other stakeholders.

The Insolvency Service’s enquiries into the insolvency of Monarch are ongoing and it continues to liaise with the administrators and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to establish the facts surrounding the administration of Monarch Airlines Group.

20th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Administrator's Report on the collapse of Monarch Airlines Group, published on 24 November, and the disclosure that substantial sums will be paid to Petrol Jersey Ltd and Windsor Jersey Ltd, both affiliates of the owners of Monarch, Greybull Group; whether they have now made progress in recovering public monies expended by Her Majetsy's Government in repatriating to the UK passengers of Monarch airlines; and if so, what.

The Insolvency Service’s enquiries into the insolvency of Monarch are ongoing and it continues to liaise with the administrators and the CAA to establish the facts surrounding the administration of Monarch Airlines Group.

The Department for Transport are continuing to work with several third parties, including relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers have booked flights, to recover costs from the repatriation operation. We have begun the process of issuing invoices to third parties, and we will report back with more detail on cost recovery in due course.

21st Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 13 November (HL2710), when they expect to be able to provide a final figure of the total cost to the taxpayer of repatriating to the UK passengers of Monarch Airlines; in relation to cases where there is no confidentiality clause in place, who the recipients of those repatriation costs were; what is their initial estimate of how much each of those named recipients received; why confidentiality clauses have been used in some cases; and in relation to how many recipients were such clauses used.

We are not yet able to give a final figure for the costs of the repatriation operation as we are awaiting invoices and cost recovery from third parties. This was a complex operation and aircraft and cabin crew leasing, call centres and coaches to transfer passengers between airports were among the costs.

Confidentiality clauses were used to protect commercially sensitive information in the course of planning for the repatriation operation.

In line with the usual transparency guidelines on government expenditure and financial reporting the absolute full and final position will be made clear in the annual accounts for the department, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Air Travel Trust (ATT), which should be published in June 2018. However, I very much hope to be able to give a more refined figure for the costs of the Monarch repatriation operation much earlier.

I would refer the Noble Lord to my answer of 13 November to his previous questions.

6th Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Sugg on 2 November (HL2460), whether they intend to seek binding agreements with Greybull Capital and its associates to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers booked on Monarch Airlines; and if so, whether those agreements will be published, and what they intend to offer in return for those contributions.

We have not discussed binding agreements with Greybull Capital and there is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the costs of repatriating passengers.

However, Marc Meyohas, partner at Greybull has written[1] to the Transport Select Committee acknowledging a moral obligation (if they make a profit) to contribute to other stakeholders, including helping to defray the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch customers.

We also have entered into discussions with several third parties, including relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights, with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation and will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and that it is not only the government who pays.

[1] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/Response-from-Greybull-Capital-LLP-to-Chair-re-Monarch-Airlines-collapse-24-10-2017.pdf

1st Nov 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have sought a contribution from Vantage Guernsey, an associate of Greybull Capital, towards the cost to the taxpayer of repatriating to the UK passengers of Monarch Airlines.

There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute to the costs of repatriating passengers. However, Marc Meyohas, partner at Greybull has written to the Transport Select Committee acknowledging moral obligation (if they make a profit) to contribute to other stakeholders including helping to defray the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch customers.

We have entered into discussions with several third parties, including relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights, with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation and will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and that it is not only the government who pays.

31st Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they asked Greybull Capital, or any other secured creditor of Monarch Airlines, to subordinate their security to grant precedence to HM Government in respect of costs incurred by the taxpayer in repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines.

There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers. However, Marc Meyohas, partner at Greybull has written[1] to the Transport Select Committee acknowledging a moral obligation (if they make a profit) to contribute to other stakeholders including helping to defray the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch customers.

We have entered into discussions with several third parties, including relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights, with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation and will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and that it is not only the government who pays.

[1] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/Response-from-Greybull-Capital-LLP-to-Chair-re-Monarch-Airlines-collapse-24-10-2017.pdf

30th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to pursue the assets of Monarch Aircraft Engineering (MAE) in obtaining a contribution to public funds to cover the cost of repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines to the UK; and whether they plan to establish whether (1) MAE is still owned by Monarch Airlines or Greybull Capital, and (2) whether all or part of the capital of MAE has been sold and, if so, to whom the proceeds were paid.

Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) remains a standalone business, which continues to trade, after the Monarch Airlines and Monarch Tour Group entered Administration. We are not aware that there has been any change to the ownership of MAEL or that any shares have been sold in that company.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing, and that it is not only the government who pays.

We have entered into discussions with several third parties with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation. This includes Greybull Capital and relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights. We will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

30th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the total cost to the taxpayer of repatriating to the UK passengers of Monarch Airlines; and who were the top ten recipients.

The principal shareholder in Monarch Airlines is Petrol Jersey Limited with the Pension Protection Fund also holding a 10% stake. Greybull Capital is not itself a shareholder in Monarch Airlines but performs an advisory and management role for Petrol Jersey Limited.

There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers. However, Marc Meyohas, partner at Greybull has written[1] to the Transport Select Committee acknowledging a moral obligation (if they make a profit) to contribute to other stakeholders including helping to defray the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch customers.

Our initial estimate was that the total costs of the repatriation operation will be around £60 million. We are currently unable to give a final figure as we are awaiting final invoices and cost recovery from third parties. We will be able to report in due course exactly how much the taxpayer has contributed and further detail on the recipients, where this information is not subject to a confidentiality clause.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and that it is not only the government who pays.

We have entered into discussions with several third parties with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation. This includes Greybull Capital and relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights. We will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

[1] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/Response-from-Greybull-Capital-LLP-to-Chair-re-Monarch-Airlines-collapse-24-10-2017.pdf

30th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have engaged with the directors of Petrol Jersey to establish whether that company will reimburse or contribute towards the cost of repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines to the UK.

The principal shareholder in Monarch Airlines is Petrol Jersey Limited with the Pension Protection Fund also holding a 10% stake. Greybull Capital is not itself a shareholder in Monarch Airlines but performs an advisory and management role for Petrol Jersey Limited.

There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers. However, Marc Meyohas, partner at Greybull has written[1] to the Transport Select Committee acknowledging a moral obligation (if they make a profit) to contribute to other stakeholders including helping to defray the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch customers.

Our initial estimate was that the total costs of the repatriation operation will be around £60 million. We are currently unable to give a final figure as we are awaiting final invoices and cost recovery from third parties. We will be able to report in due course exactly how much the taxpayer has contributed and further detail on the recipients, where this information is not subject to a confidentiality clause.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and that it is not only the government who pays.

We have entered into discussions with several third parties with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation. This includes Greybull Capital and relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights. We will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

[1] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/Response-from-Greybull-Capital-LLP-to-Chair-re-Monarch-Airlines-collapse-24-10-2017.pdf

30th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the matter of making claims for a contribution towards the cost of repatriating to the UK passengers of Monarch Airlines, they have (1) established the identity of the owners of Monarch Airlines, and (2) obtained confirmation of their willingness to contribute; and whether those owners include (a) Greybull Capital, and (b) Petrol Jersey.

The principal shareholder in Monarch Airlines is Petrol Jersey Limited with the Pension Protection Fund also holding a 10% stake. Greybull Capital is not itself a shareholder in Monarch Airlines but performs an advisory and management role for Petrol Jersey Limited.

There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers. However, Marc Meyohas, partner at Greybull has written[1] to the Transport Select Committee acknowledging a moral obligation (if they make a profit) to contribute to other stakeholders including helping to defray the costs incurred by the Government in repatriating Monarch customers.

Our initial estimate was that the total costs of the repatriation operation will be around £60 million. We are currently unable to give a final figure as we are awaiting final invoices and cost recovery from third parties. We will be able to report in due course exactly how much the taxpayer has contributed and further detail on the recipients, where this information is not subject to a confidentiality clause.

We are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing of the repatriation operation, and that it is not only the government who pays.

We have entered into discussions with several third parties with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation. This includes Greybull Capital and relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights. We will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

[1] http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/transport/Response-from-Greybull-Capital-LLP-to-Chair-re-Monarch-Airlines-collapse-24-10-2017.pdf

30th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the details of the agreement they reached with the Civil Aviation Authority, the Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL), and Greybull Capital to cover the cost of repatriating the stranded UK passengers of Monarch Airlines; whether they have made any commitment to put in place similar arrangements in the event that another UK airline collapses; and whether ATOL members would be expected to cover some, or all, of the cost of repatriating passengers not covered by ATOL.

We have entered into discussions with several third parties, including relevant card providers and travel providers through which passengers may have booked flights, with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation and will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

No further commitments have been made, but it is appropriate that we and the CAA should have robust contingency plans in place for a wide range of scenarios that can be put into practice quickly.

We are asking ATOL members who had their own (ATOL protected) customers on Monarch flights to contribute to the cost of the repatriation programme in respect of the passengers that they had a responsibility for.

30th Oct 2017
ACL
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether ministers or officials have met with, or made representations to, Airline Coordination Limited in connection with (1) Monarch Airlines, and (2) Greybull Capital.

Ministers have had no discussions with Airport Co-ordination Limited, the UK’s independent slot co-ordinator, in connection with Monarch Airlines or Greybull Capital. Under European and UK regulations, the UK government has no role in the airport slot allocation process. Airport Co-ordination Ltd has kept Department for Transport officials updated on factual matters relating to the disposition of Monarch Airlines’ slots at UK airports.

24th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they asked Greybull Capital to make any contribution towards the cost of repatriating to the UK passengers of Monarch Airlines, or sought to establish a claim on any asset surplus remaining in Monarch.

Our initial aim was to repatriate passengers back to the UK safely. Now that this has been achieved, we are focused on making sure that there is clear burden sharing, and that it is not only the government who pays.

There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers. However, we have entered into discussions with several third parties with the aim of recovering the costs of the repatriation operation and will in due course be able to report back with more detail.

19th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) whether they are able to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers stranded outside the UK due to the failure of Monarch Airlines; (2) whether Greybull ranks as a senior creditor of Monarch in receivership; and (3) how many Monarch passengers were stranded in the UK and not repatriated with government assistance.

There is no formal legal mechanism we can use to oblige Greybull to contribute towards the cost of repatriating passengers. Whether Greybull ranks as a senior creditor of Monarch in receivership is a question for the administrators. The role for Government was to get passengers back to the UK who would otherwise have been stranded due to insufficient alternative capacity in the aviation market at the time of Monarch’s collapse.

The CAA made an assessment that there was sufficient capacity in the market for passengers who were in the UK at the time of the collapse to make an alternative flight booking if they wished to do so.

19th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they received any request to lend money to, or invest in, Monarch Airlines, Greybull or any affiliated entity ahead of the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

Monarch started informal discussions with the government immediately prior to its collapse, about a number of potential investments, but did not formally make any request to government before going into administration.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Pensions Regulator (1) regarded an additional payment into the Arcadia Pension Fund to be an adequate contribution to the deficit, and (2) supported the Company Voluntary Arrangements proposed by Sir Philip and Lady Green; and if so, why.

The best support for a defined benefit pension scheme is an ongoing trading employer. Working with the shareholders, pension trustees and Pension Protection Fund, The Pensions Regulator were pleased to be able to agree a £310m package of support last week that would provide greater certainty for the Arcadia pension schemes. This comprises security to the value of £210m, together with the £100m in cash from Lady Green. The Pensions Regulator remain satisfied that the arrangement is the right one for members and the Pension Protection Fund in challenging circumstances and is equitable in the context of the wider Company Voluntary Arrangements process.

The Pension Regulator’s goal is to protect the interests of members of the Arcadia schemes as far as possible in these difficult circumstances. A successful outcome will mean ongoing Deficit repair contributions payments from the company, enabling the schemes to become fully funded in due course. Had the Company Voluntary Arrangement votes failed, or if the Company Voluntary Arrangements are successfully challenged, the position of the pension schemes would be/will be much less certain. Deficit repair contributions from Arcadia Group Limited, initially £25m per annum (paid in equal monthly instalments) and escalating in subsequent years, would cease. The amount recovered by the pension schemes would be significantly less in an uncontrolled insolvency than under the terms of the Company Voluntary Arrangement. On this basis The Pensions Regulator supported the Company Voluntary Arrangement.

10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Pensions Regulator has allowed the owners of Arcadia Group to phase their contribution to address that company’s pension deficit over a period of time instead of a single up-front payment; whether the Pensions Regulator is using financial advisers to determine whether Arcadia’s business plan will eventually cover the deficit; and if so, who are those advisers.

The pensions framework established by Parliament in the Pensions Act 2004 sets out that ongoing employers may address the funding of their scheme deficits over a reasonable period of time. This responsibility falls on the company rather than its owners, other than where The Pensions Regulator has used its anti-avoidance powers. This approach of spreading funding of deficits was established to balance the needs of schemes with those of their sponsoring employers.

The Arcadia trustees and the Arcadia group took an approach which was similar to many other schemes and employers in establishing recovery plans to address their schemes’ deficits over a number of years. In response to a request to vary those recovery plan payments, made in conjunction with the Arcadia Group’s Company Voluntary Arrangements proposals, The Pensions Regulator, working alongside the trustees and the Pension Protection Fund, has negotiated robustly to secure an enhanced package of support for the pension schemes in connection with a successful Company Voluntary Arrangement, worth significantly more than would be received if the Company Voluntary Arrangement is not successful and Arcadia Group Ltd becomes insolvent. This represents appropriate protection, in challenging circumstances, and is equitable in the context of the wider Company Voluntary Arrangements process.

In assessing the turnaround plan presented by Arcadia, The Pensions Regulator has been informed by the analysis carried out by professional advisers to the trustees. The Pensions Regulator has considerable expertise in restructuring situations and this includes people in its regulatory teams with a background working in big chartered accountancy firms and restructuring operations in banks.

4th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Ministers or officials have (1) written to, (2) had any meetings with, or (3) communicated in other forms with, Sir Philip Green, Lady Christina Green or the Pensions Regulator in connection with the Arcadia Group Pension Scheme.

Neither Ministers nor officials have written to, had meetings with, or communicated in other forms with Sir Philip Green or Lady Christina Green.

Ministers and officials have quarterly meetings with the Pensions Regulator, but not specifically concerning Sir Philip Green or the Arcadia Group. This is because the Pensions Regulator is an independent body, and as such the Government cannot intervene or influence its actions. The Regulator also keeps DWP officials informed about its work in monitoring pension schemes.

29th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government who is responsible for oversight of matters regarding the Pensions Protection Fund (PPF) and Kodak; and whether they plan to commission an independent review of the handling of Kodak by the PPF and the Pensions Regulator and the advice received by both.

The Pension Protection Fund is a statutory public corporation led by its Board and accountable to Parliament through the Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions.

The original decision in the Kodak case, which provided savers with the potential to receive benefits above Pension Protection Fund levels, was finely balanced and carefully assessed with the benefit of the due diligence carried out for the trustees. Regulated Apportionment Arrangements, a restructuring mechanism which allows a financially troubled employer to detach itself from its liabilities in respect of a defined benefit scheme, are rare and The Pensions Regulator will only agree to them if stringent criteria are met, with entry into the Pension Protection Fund the expected outcome, and the Pension Protection Fund must not object to the Regulated Apportionment Arrangements. The Pensions Regulator published a section 89 regulatory intervention report in November 2014 describing in detail the considerations leading to the decision in this case.

As a condition of approving the successor Kodak pension scheme in 2014, a memorandum of understanding was put in place giving The Pensions Regulator the power to closely monitor the progress of the scheme and if necessary trigger its wind up. This has allowed The Pensions Regulator, with the Pension Protection Fund, to remain actively involved in discussions about the scheme’s future. Due to underperformance of the underlying business it was concluded that the scheme would be unable to meet its long term funding requirements. Action has therefore been taken to bring the scheme into a Pension Protection Fund assessment period which commenced on the 25 March 2019.

Specialist firms with extensive Pension Protection Fund experience have been brought in to manage the administration of the pension scheme and to oversee its efficient passage through the assessment process.

Whilst the Kodak case is a significant claim, the Pension Protection Fund remains in a robust financial position. In its last reported accounts, the Pension Protection Fund had a £6.7 billion reserve and is currently on track to reach its funding objective. There has been no immediate impact on the Pension Protection Fund Levy arising from this case. The Pension Protection Fund aims to collect £500m in levy in 2019/20 which is £50m lower than it aimed to collect in 2018/19.

The Pensions Regulator aims to learn from every major pensions restructuring case and has refined its approach to complex pension restructurings in light of the lessons learned in the Kodak case and successive cases. A letter was sent on the 17th October 2018 from Lesley Titcomb, the then Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Pensions Regulator, addressed to the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, Rt Hon Frank Field MP, summarising the lessons learnt in the Kodak case.

25th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have made any representations to, or met, the Pensions Regulator in the last three months in connection with Arcadia Group.

The Pensions Regulator carries out its functions independently. The Department has not made any representations to the Pensions Regulator in relation to the Arcadia Group in the last three months.

26th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans the Department for Work and Pensions has to establish a hardship fund for those most affected by a rise in food prices as a result of Brexit.

The benefit system provides support for eligible claimants on low incomes or no incomes to claim for financial support for daily living expenses.

As part of the process to ensure our orderly exit, we continue to monitor the effects of Brexit on the economy. Leaving the EU with a deal remains the Government’s top priority. That is why we are redoubling our efforts to reach a negotiated deal that Parliament can support. As the Prime Minister has made clear, the best way forward is for the UK to leave the EU in an orderly way with a good deal and the Government is working to deliver legal certainty on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Following our exit from the European Union, we are committed to maintaining a close and collaborative relationship with the EU.

25th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the withdrawal of credit insurance to a company sponsoring a pension fund with a large deficit requires approval by the Pensions Regulator.

The Pensions Regulator does not have jurisdiction over corporate business transactions, such as the withdrawal of credit insurance, and does not have the power to require insurance companies to seek approval before withdrawing insurance cover.

The Pensions Regulator operates a voluntary clearance procedure to those who are considering transactions involving companies with defined benefit schemes. If clearance is not applied for and granted, the Regulator may exercise its anti-avoidance powers, if it considers that the transaction was aimed at avoiding a debt to the pension scheme. These powers can be applied up to six years after a transaction has taken place.

Employers sponsoring defined benefit pension schemes are also required to notify the Regulator of certain prescribed events. These do not include the withdrawal of credit insurance but should the withdrawal of such insurance trigger a prescribed event, including insolvency, then the employer would be required to notify the Pensions Regulator.

Defined benefit pension schemes also go through a valuation process every three years (tri-annual evaluation), comparing assets against liabilities, and the withdrawal of credit insurance might be identified by the Regulator as part of this process.

31st Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Buscombe on 23 October (HL10674), whether they include in supplier contracts a specific requirement that they do nothing to harm public confidence in the person of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions; and if so, whether this is a new policy, and when it was introduced.

Contractual provisions that impose obligations on suppliers not to harm the reputation of the purchasing authority or otherwise bring it into disrepute are not new policy, such provisions are well-established and widely used in both the public and private sector and are transparent throughout the tendering process. These provisions ensure that contractors adhere to good working practices and governance, for example by ensuring they do not break employment law or use dangerous, unfair or unethical practices which may bring the Authority into disrepute or harm public confidence. Such provisions do not stop any contract holders or affiliates from criticising any specific government department, government policy or politicians.

15th Oct 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any contracts drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions for suppliers working on Universal Credit include a clause requiring the supplier to do nothing that will attract adverse publicity to the Secretary of State or harm public confidence in her.

In contracts used across government, including at the Department for Work and Pensions and its Universal Credit programme, there are clauses that vary in different forms, typically these clauses require the supplier to ensure that neither it, nor any of its Affiliates, bring the Authority into disrepute by engaging in any act or omission which is reasonably likely to diminish the trust that the public places in the Authority, regardless of whether or not such act or omission is related to the Supplier’s obligations under said Agreement.

These clauses do not prevent the contracting bodies from making statements critical of government policy, or programmes such as Universal Credit or politicians, and certainly do not prevent whistle-blowing (as this would be unlawful). They are designed to protect government, to ensure that contractors adhere to good working practices and do not engage in activities that will bring the Authority into disrepute or otherwise harm the confidence of the public in Government.

17th May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many contribution schedules to a pensions scheme have been issued by the Pensions Regulator since it was established in 1996; and what assessment they have made of the number of schedules issued.

The independent Pensions Regulator was established by the Pensions Act 2004. Its predecessor, the Occupational Pension Regulatory Authority did not have the same level of powers as the Regulator does now and was not able to issue a schedule of contributions.

The legislative framework within which the Regulator operates gives it a range of powers to protect the benefits of members of occupational pension schemes. It is down to the Regulator to decide which of its powers are appropriate in each investigation it undertakes.

Contribution schedules are required to be agreed by the trustees of the pension scheme and the sponsoring employer. However, where agreement cannot be reached, the Pensions Regulator has the power to set the schedule of contributions in relation to a recovery plan. Since this power was introduced, the Pensions Regulator has issued one warning notice, but has never been required to exercise the power to issue a schedule of contributions.

17th May 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the Pensions Regulator.

The Pensions Regulator was established by the Pensions Act 2004. The assessment of the performance of the Pension Regulator was decided by the previous government as follows: The Pensions Regulator has a broad set of responsibilities across occupational pension schemes. Its performance, as measured by Key Performance Indicators, has been steadily improving since 2015. In 2015/16, it fully met 10 out of 17 of these indicators, whereas in 2017/18 it met 17 out of 18.

Working collaboratively with the Department for Work and Pensions, the Pensions Regulator has successfully implemented one of the most significant reforms in recent years, the introduction of Automatic Enrolment. To date, 9.6 million workers have enrolled into a pension by over 1.2 million employers. This is being achieved at a time of great change and challenge in the pensions landscape, with changes in longevity and structural changes in the workplace.

Since 2005, the Regulator has secured more than £1 billion for pension schemes through settlements and the use of its anti‑avoidance powers. Not withstanding this, the Regulator has also recognised the need for it to change and adapt to the world as it is now, and since 2016 has been engaging with industry on how best to be a clearer, quicker and tougher Regulator. The Government’s Defined Benefit White Paper proposals will provide the Regulator with additional tools needed to effectively respond to today’s challenges.

25th Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Pension Protection Fund nominated someone to sit on the board of Monarch Airlines, or otherwise monitored (1) the financial performance and management of that company, and (2) its relationships with its controlling shareholder, affiliates of that shareholder, and its suppliers of aircraft.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is an independent body which pays compensation to members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes where the sponsoring employer becomes insolvent and the scheme is unable to cover the accrued pension liabilities.

The PPF’s engagement with Monarch Airlines is an operational matter, and I have asked PPF to respond directly to the Noble Lord.

4th Apr 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are investigating circumstances surrounding the pension deficit of Arcadia; and what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the Pensions Regulator in overseeing the scheme and its governance.

The regulatory oversight of work-based pension schemes, including funding issues, is a matter for the independent Pensions Regulator. The recent BHS settlement shows that there is a system in place for protecting the benefits of members of occupational pension schemes.

The government remains confident in the effectiveness of the Regulator however, we have recently launched a consultation on Defined Benefit pensions to make sure the tools they have are appropriate and sustainable. The paper also covers a number of other areas of concern in the defined benefit sector, including the powers of the Regulator. This paper was laid before Parliament on 20 February 2017.

The closing date for comments is 14 May 2017; responses can be submitted to the following postal address:

DB Consultation

Private Pensions

First Floor

Caxton House

6-12 Tothill Street

London

SW1A 9NA

18th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the Pensions Regulator about the length of time it will require to report on the BHS pension scheme; and whether they plan to communicate that information to fund managers.

The right approach is to allow the Pensions Regulator to get on with its investigations into the use of its anti-avoidance powers. There is a clear legal process that must be followed and this can sometimes take a considerable amount of time. The Pensions Regulator’s Chief Executive has given a commitment that it will have made significant progress by the end of 2016. It has said that when it becomes appropriate to do so it will consider publishing a report of the case under Section 89 of the Pensions Act 2004. The Regulator is independent and Ministers cannot become involved in its decisions on whether or not to exercise its powers or seek to influence its investigations in any way.

13th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made an estimate of the cost of their monetary policy on the solvency of pension schemes, and whether they plan to use the profit made from quantitative easing to strengthen the financial position of the Pension Protection Fund.

The UK’s monetary policy framework gives operational responsibility for monetary policy to the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the Bank of England. Decisions on setting monetary policy are for the judgement of the Monetary Policy Committee.

The Government is sensitive to the fact that there will be those who gain and those who lose from any particular monetary policy decision. Such distributional effects typically balance out over the course of a policy cycle.

Over the last six years low interest rates have helped households and businesses through challenging economic times. Furthermore, as the Bank of England has explained in its article entitled "The distributional effects of asset purchases" published in its 2012 Q3 Quarterly Bulletin: "Without the Bank's asset purchases, most people in the United Kingdom would have been worse off. Economic growth would have been lower. Unemployment would have been higher. Many more companies would have gone out of business. This would have had a significant detrimental impact on savers and pensioners along with every other group in our society."

The Pension Protection Fund is financially sustainable and there are no plans to further strengthen it. The PPF 2015/16 annual report said that the Fund has over £23 billion assets under management and is 116.3 per cent funded.

12th Jul 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to change the discount rate used to calculate the funding status of defined benefit pension schemes.

The legislation governing the funding of defined benefit occupational pensions schemes is designed to be flexible, allowing the trustees or managers of these schemes to determine which method and assumptions are to be used in their schemes technical provisions. A number of factors come into play in scheme funding decisions and the Pensions Regulator provides useful guidance for trustees in its codes and supporting guidance and statements.

In determining the discount rate to be used, trustees must act prudently taking into account the yield on assets held by the scheme and / or the market redemption yields on Government bonds or other high-quality bonds.

There is no standard actuarial method and set of assumptions that must be used, however, should the Regulator have concerns about a funding plan it can intervene.

7th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 6 June (HL Deb, col 626), on how many occasions since its inception has the Pensions Regulator used provisions for dawn raids, and how it determines the circumstances in which such provisions should be employed.

The Pensions Regulator has a power to request information which it exercises regularly and successfully. This means that it is often not necessary to use the powers under section 73 (inspection) or section 78 (warrants) of the Pensions Act 2004.

Under section 78, a justice of the peace may issue a warrant where there are reasonable grounds for believing that there are -

  • relevant documents which would be removed, or made inaccessible, from the premises, or hidden, tampered with or destroyed,

or that

  • an offence has been committed, or
  • a person will do any act which constitutes a misuse or misappropriation of the assets of an occupational pension scheme or a personal pension scheme.

This power is only used in extreme circumstances, and such cases usually involve suspicions of wider criminal activity. Since 2004, the Regulator has used its powers to either inspect premises or issue a warrant on five occasions.

7th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 6 June (HL Deb, col 627), whether they have the necessary power to pursue pension contribution payments from companies where the parent company is based in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, or Monaco.

Each case will need to be considered on its own merits but the Pensions Regulator can use its anti-avoidance powers against targets that are based abroad. Section 303 of the Pensions Act 2004, governing the service of documents abroad, is intended to operate outside the UK jurisdiction The power to enforce any regulatory action against a non-UK company is likely to require the approval or cooperation of the relevant overseas authorities. By and large, these provisions should be enforceable in other EU and Commonwealth jurisdictions.

The Pensions Regulator has demonstrated that it is prepared to use its anti-avoidance powers against targets that are based abroad, as was shown in its handling of the cases involving Sea Containers and the Lehman Brothers group and a complex investigation into the Carrington Wire Defined Benefit Pension Scheme resulted in a £8.5m settlement with two Russian companies.

9th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the BHS pension fund has now transferred to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) or whether the owner, former owner, or secured creditors are still able to make a financial contribution to obviate a need to transfer the fund to the PPF.

The BHS pension schemes are in Pension Protection Fund (PPF) assessment periods. During this period the schemes are able to accept contributions from the sponsoring employer to cover its debts to the schemes. They are also able to receive recoveries as a creditor or through the use of the Regulator’s powers. If the scheme assets are shown to be sufficient to buy its members annuities at least as good as the compensation paid by the PPF, the scheme will not transfer into the PPF.

9th May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they, the Pensions Regulator, or the Pension Protection Fund have in the last three years had discussions with BHS, Lady Green or Sir Philip Green concerning the deficit in the BHS pension fund and a scheme to reduce that deficit.

The Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund are independent bodies and in carrying out their functions they may meet individuals involved with pension schemes.

Ministers have engaged with a range of sponsoring employers of Defined Benefit pensions schemes as a matter of routine, including Sir Philip Green, as part of their normal considerations of the pensions landscape but oversight of the scheme funding regime for Defined Benefit schemes is a matter for the Pensions Regulator. It would not be appropriate for Ministers to intervene in individual cases or to discuss with the Regulator, the Pension Protection Fund or the scheme sponsor how a particular scheme’s pension deficit should be mitigated.

3rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Altmann on 28 April (HL7905), whether the Pensions Regulator has taken any action in the case of the BHS pension scheme in order to fulfil its statutory duty to reduce the risk of situations that may lead to claims for compensation from the Pension Protection Fund, and what assessment they have made of whether the Pensions Act 2004 provides adequate protection to pension scheme members.

The investigation into the BHS pension schemes and any associated action is a matter for the independent Pensions Regulator.

Once the Regulator has completed its investigation, any subsequent determination will be published on its website.

The Government considers that the Pensions Act 2004 provides the Regulator with a sufficient range of measures to protect pension scheme members and the Pension Protection Fund, including anti-avoidance powers to enable it to act where corporate transactions are aimed at avoiding debts to the pension scheme. The powers of the Regulator are kept under review.

3rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review, or charge others to review, the performance of the trustees of the BHS pension schemes, and whether the current trustees are fit and proper to continue performing that role at BHS and other pension schemes.

The investigation into the BHS pension schemes, including the role of the trustees, is a matter for the independent Pensions Regulator.

The actions of the trustees and competence of the trustees are among the issues that we would expect the Regulator to be considering as part of its investigations.

26th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will order an inquiry into actions taken by the trustees of the BHS pension schemes in agreeing revisions to funding rates and supporting the sale of the employer.

The Pensions Regulator regulates work-based pension schemes, including trust-based schemes. In accordance with Parliament’s wishes, it has operational independence so it would be entirely inappropriate for Ministers to intervene in its decisions or on-going investigations.

26th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review decisions taken by the Pensions Regulator in connection with the BHS pension schemes.

In accordance with Parliament’s wishes, the Regulator has operational independence. Whilst performance against its key targets is regularly reviewed by the Department, this does not encompass its regulatory decision-making or the conduct of its investigations. It would be entirely inappropriate and improper for Ministers to comment on or intervene in these areas.

26th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Pensions Regulator will appoint an investment bank and retail consultancy to support its investigation into the events preceding BHS going into administration.

Parliament gave the Pensions Regulator independence in how it operates. It is for the Regulator to determine how it wishes to undertake any investigation into matters relating to the BHS pension scheme.

26th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will publish an estimate of the likely impact of the additional levy that will be imposed on well managed and solvent pension schemes in relation to the BHS pension schemes.

Parliament gave the Pensions Protection Fund independence in how it operates. The PPF sets the pension protection levy at the level it considers necessary to meet its long term funding strategy rather than in direct response to recent claims. Factors relevant to the level of the levy include: the PPF’s existing funding position (£3.6bn in reserves at March 2015); the potential level of future claims; the potential level of assets that may be received from transferred schemes; and expected future investment returns.

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have considered the risk to the solvency of the Pension Protection Fund of owners of companies with funding deficits selling the business for a nominal consideration or to an unsuitable purchaser.

The independent Pensions Regulator, which oversees worked based pensions, has a statutory objective to reduce the risk of situations arising which may lead to compensation being payable from the Pension Protection Fund. It was given a significant range of anti-avoidance powers in the Pensions Act 2004, which can be deployed where it is appropriate and where the legal tests laid down in legislation are met.

25th Apr 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review the financial strength of the Pension Protection Fund.

The Pension Protection Fund is run by an independent Board and reviews its financial position regularly. It manages over £23 billion of assets and, in the 2014/15 Annual Report, the last published, declared a funding ratio of 115.1 per cent and a surplus of £3.6 billion.

5th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a daily report of the number of people who have received a COVID-19 vaccination in each 24 hour period.

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

10th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have procured any refrigeration devices for GP surgeries to support the administration of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for which they have placed purchase orders.

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

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

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what R rate for COVID-19 a Tier 3 area has to reach, and (2) for how long, before it is lowered to Tier 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8th Jan 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to investigate the pricing of levonorgestrel by pharmacies.

The Department does not control prices of medicines sold at pharmacies without a prescription. Emergency hormonal contraception is however available free of charge on the National Health Service.

13th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are in discussions with Four Seasons care homes to ensure that residents of its homes are not jeopardised by a failure of the company; and who is responsible for contingency planning in such a scenario.

On 14 December Four Seasons and H/2 agreed a standstill agreement until 2 April 2018 to enable the restructuring negotiations to proceed.

The Department has received updates from the Four Seasons Healthcare Group on the commercial situation.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been, and will continue to, monitor the situation with Four Seasons Healthcare Group through the Market Oversight scheme. Market Oversight is a statutory scheme, as set out in the Care Act 2014, through which the CQC assesses the financial sustainability of those care organisation that local authorities may find difficult to replace should they fail and become unable to carry on delivering services.

The Care Act 2014 places temporary duties on local authorities to intervene to protect individuals where a care provider is no longer able to carry on because of business failure and services cease.

In 2015, Local Government Implementation Unit, Local Government Association, Association Directors of Adult Social Services and the Department published guidance to local authorities on contingency planning for provider failure. The Government is continuing to work with local authorities to ensure they have effective and up-to-date contingency plans in place.

13th Dec 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the hedge fund the H2 is a fit and proper owner of the largest care home public group in the UK.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has advised the Department that the CQC does not assess whether owners of health and care providers are fit and proper and therefore they do not have a view on the appropriateness of H2. However, the CQC is making changes to their Registration function that in future should improve transparency of such ownership arrangements for the public.

11th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken any action to review whether the owners of any adult social care provider have intentionally weakened the ability of the care provider to fulfil its duties to patients and other stakeholders by not taking sufficient steps to ensure that the care provider is adequately capitalised; and whether the CQC has taken or prepared action to sanction or initiate legal action in connection with the same.

There are currently 49 providers in the Market Oversight scheme, of which 38 are care home providers.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have no right of veto in ensuring that a care group is adequately capitalised as this falls outside of the CQC’s regulatory remit. However, financial viability is considered in relation to all providers when they apply for registration with the CQC. The CQC will refuse registration if providers cannot demonstrate that they have the financial resources needed to provide and continue to provide the services as described in their statement of purpose and to the required standards. This assessment is made in relation to the applicant who will be a Registered Provider, but will not necessarily be the owner, as set out in the question. The CQC’s powers of enforcement are limited to Registered Providers. In all circumstances where poor care is identified during an inspection, the CQC will act to protect service users, whatever the cause, and this could include financial stress.

11th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 15 December 2016 (HL3810), how many care home providers are currently subject to the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Market Oversight Scheme where the CQC is exercising enhanced oversight of the financial sustainability of the care provider.

There are currently 49 providers in the Market Oversight scheme, of which 38 are care home providers.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have no right of veto in ensuring that a care group is adequately capitalised as this falls outside of the CQC’s regulatory remit. However, financial viability is considered in relation to all providers when they apply for registration with the CQC. The CQC will refuse registration if providers cannot demonstrate that they have the financial resources needed to provide and continue to provide the services as described in their statement of purpose and to the required standards. This assessment is made in relation to the applicant who will be a Registered Provider, but will not necessarily be the owner, as set out in the question. The CQC’s powers of enforcement are limited to Registered Providers. In all circumstances where poor care is identified during an inspection, the CQC will act to protect service users, whatever the cause, and this could include financial stress.

5th Dec 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the debt levels of Four Seasons Health Care; whether they have any plans to intervene to protect the interests of patients; and whether they are able to require the company's private equity owner to invest new equity.

Adult social care is largely delivered through an independent sector of care provider organisations that operate in a competitive market. As with any market, some providers enter and exit, which is an important mechanism for driving up quality and effectiveness. Market exits are regular occurrences and are handled effectively by local government.

It is of course vital that vulnerable people with care needs do not have their services interrupted if their care provider failed financially and services stop. The Care Act 2014 introduced new duties on local authorities and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to protect and reassure people with care needs, their families and friends. The Act places a duty on all local authorities in England to temporarily step in and make sure all people in their area continue to have their needs met, regardless of who pays for their care. Recognising that local authorities might struggle if a significant provider were to fail, the CQC has a new function to oversee and monitor the financial sustainability of the largest and most difficult to replace providers. The oversight function provides an early warning to relevant local authorities in the event that one of these providers is likely to fail and their services cease.

Four Seasons Health Care is one of the providers that because of their size, is part of the CQC’s Market Oversight Scheme. CQC continues to monitor the finances of all of the providers in the scheme. Government has no powers to require a private company that is acting lawfully to change its financial approach.

The Care Act 2014 also places new duties on local authorities to promote their local market to ensure all service users have a choice of high quality services available.

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

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

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

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

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd May 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they support Turkey joining the EU, and what pre-conditions they believe should attach to such admission.

The Government supports the process of Turkey’s EU accession, which remains the most effective means of encouraging reform, stability and democracy in Turkey. But as the Prime Minister, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), has made it clear that the question of Turkey actually joining the EU is ‘not remotely on the cards’, indeed that he does not believe it will happen ‘for decades’. Every Member State has a veto, at every stage of the process.

Turkey would need to undergo substantial reform before we could consider Turkish accession to the EU, particularly in terms of rule of law, freedom of speech, and socio-economic convergence with EU standards. Furthermore, the Government will not agree to any further EU enlargement without new arrangements for transitional controls on freedom of movement. We do not want to take the risk, as we did in 2004, of very large movements of people after a new accession. Under the European Union Act 2011, any new Accession Treaty would require parliamentary approval by primary legislation before it could be ratified.

6th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Society for Worldwide Financial Telecommunications regarding possible sanctions against Russia.

No representations have been made to the Society for Worldwide Financial Telecommunications by the British Government regarding possible sanctions against Russia.

6th Oct 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people are employed in the British Embassy in Pyongyang.

As of October 2014, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office employs 11 staff in our Embassy in Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This figure includes UK-based civil servants and locally engaged staff.

17th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether will release the proposal sent by the Treasury to supply chain financiers to be incorporated in the Covid Corporate Financing Facility fund, as referred to by Rt Hon David Cameron in evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee on 13 May.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
29th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions since 24 July Permanent Secretaries or Senior Civil Servants required ministerial direction to act, broken down by Government Department.

Ministerial directions are published on gov.uk.

There have been no ministerial directions since 24th July 2019.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many 50p coins to commemorate Brexit on 31 October have been minted.

Approximately 1 million coins were minted in October to mark the UK’s exit from the European Union. Coins bearing this date will now be recycled and the value from the materials will be recouped by the Exchequer.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to review the impact of regulation on the competitiveness of financial services in the UK.

The Government keeps the regulatory framework for financial services under review, and is committed to ensuring the competitiveness of the sector. It has also given the independent financial services regulators a statutory mandate to have regard to aspects of the Government’s economic policy (including competitiveness), which is communicated through letters of recommendations.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to publish their next economic forecasts in accordance with the Industry Act 1975.

The schedule pertaining to economic forecasting in the Industry Act 1975 has been repealed in consequence of the provisions in the Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011.

The Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 established the creation of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility. This legislation outlines that it is the duty of the Office to produce, on at least two occasions for each financial year, a fiscal and economic forecast. As a result, the government’s medium-term economic and fiscal forecasting is undertaken by the Office for Budget Responsibility in line with its statutory duty.

The Office for Budget Responsibility will produce a new economic and fiscal forecast to accompany the next fiscal event.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
24th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will (1) establish an independent review into the Financial Conduct Authority's supervision of Woodford Investment Management and Link Financial Solutions, and (2) review the protections in place for investors in open-ended funds in circumstances similar to those managed by Woodford.

The government takes the suspension and winding up of the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF) very seriously and is monitoring the response. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is continuing its investigation into the activities that led to the suspension of the WEIF. At this stage, the government has not seen evidence that would justify establishing an independent review into the FCA’s supervision of the fund.

As part of its investigation, the FCA is considering what FCA rule changes may be necessary to protect investors and to prevent similar issues in future. The FCA is also working with the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee to assess how funds’ redemption terms might be better aligned with the liquidity of their assets. Once the FCA publishes its findings, we will be able to assess whether there is any further role for the government.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
23rd Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to establish an independent inquiry into the failure of peer-to-peer lender Fund Secure; and on which date they first became aware that the firm was experiencing difficulty.

The Government does not intend to establish an inquiry into the failure of the peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform Funding Secure, which entered into administration on 23 October. The Government monitors the P2P lending sector on an ongoing basis and engages regularly with P2P platforms and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector.

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

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
15th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether when the FCA processed the FSMA full Part A application made by Collateral (UK) Limited on 23 March 2016, for which Collateral paid a fee of £1,500, whether it checked the information already contained in its Interim Permission file 656714; and whether it checked details on Collateral at Companies House and the date of Collateral's incorporation in respect of the date of grant of Interim Permission.

The FCA is responsible for the regulation of the financial services sector and is operationally independent from Government. These questions relate to the FCA and have been passed on to them. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter, and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
14th Oct 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the interim permission granted to Regal Pawnbroker Limited, subsequently renamed Collateral (UK) in the Financial Conduct Authority’s register, would have lapsed automatically on 31 March 2016 if an application had not been passed for Part 4A Permission under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

The FCA is responsible for the regulation of the financial services sector and is operationally independent from Government. These questions relate to the FCA and have been passed on to them. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter, and a copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
30th Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to (1) investigate delays in, and (2) take action to speed activity in, and (3) ensure lenders are properly informed about, secondary market sales in peer-to-peer lending.

The Government monitors the peer to peer (P2P) lending sector and engages regularly with P2P platforms and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector.

The operationally independent FCA recently published new rules for the sector. These will come into force on 9 December and include enhanced requirements on governance, risk management and investor protection.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of low and negative bond yields on the funding and capital assumptions of (1) pension funds, and (2) insurance companies; and the ability of the banking system to support economic growth.

HM Treasury does not hold this information. This is a matter for the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), who are operationally independent from Government, and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

The question has been passed on to the PRA and the DWP. The PRA and the DWP will reply directly to the Noble Lord by letter. Copies of the letters will be placed in the Library of the House.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ask the Financial Conduct Authority to investigate the risks in the guarantor loan market and the protections available to guarantors.

The government has given the FCA strong powers to protect consumers and to act against firms and individuals that do not meet its standards.

In relation to guarantor lending the FCA has identified relending, insufficient affordability checks, and the increasing number of payments made by guarantors as the areas of potential harm to consumers. They are conducting supervisory work to assess these areas which will conclude in January 2021.

Treasury ministers and officials meet regularly with the FCA, and the government will continue to work closely with the FCA to ensure all customers are treated fairly.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
3rd Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase minimum capital requirements for fund managers managing Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities funds and other open-ended funds.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The FCA Handbook outlines the rules on the capital requirements for UCITS management firms, which are derived from the EU UCITS Directive. These requirements can be found in Chapter 11 of the Interim Prudential Sourcebook for Investment Business. If there was to be any policy decision by the FCA to change these rules in the future, that would be subject to the FCA’s relevant governance process, including a public consultation.

Earl of Courtown
Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords)
24th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they took to stop Lendy from declaring dividends to pay capital to that firm’s owners when Lendy was under review by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); and whether the FCA intends to compensate any lenders who did not receive full remediation payments as a result of a shortfall in capital.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for the authorisation and regulation of peer to peer (P2P) platforms, and is currently carrying out an enforcement investigation into the circumstances that led to the administration of Lendy. It would be inappropriate for Government to pre-empt its findings.

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

24th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment, if any, they have made of the case for specifying a higher liquidity test for UK-managed Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities than is required by EU Directive 2009/65/EC; and what discussions they have had with the Financial Conduct Authority about that test.

Following the suspension of the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF), HM Treasury has discussed the liquidity rules for UK UCITS funds with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is responsible for the ongoing supervision and regulation of the UK’s financial services sector, including investment funds.

The FCA have launched an investigation into the events leading up to the suspension of the WEIF. The investigation will determine the facts of the case, including whether any rules have been broken, and inform any future decision on whether rule changes are required.

24th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they or the Prudential Regulation Authority monitor loans by smaller banks to related parties; and what assessment, if any, they have made of how Wyelands Bank complies in this respect with regulatory limits.

This is a matter for the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the PRA. The PRA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
23rd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they were aware that Collateral (UK) Limited advertised itself as having interim authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when this was not the case; whether the FCA has taken any action against that firm, its shareholders or directors; and what assessment they have made of whether that firm continued to raise money from investors after the Government were made aware of it falsifying its authorisation.

The Government monitors the development of the peer to peer (P2P) sector and engages regularly with P2P platforms and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector. This requires platforms to be authorised by the FCA and subject to FCA rules governing, among other areas, how they handle client money and promote themselves to consumers, and capital requirements.

The regulatory status of Collateral (UK) Ltd, and the events which led to its register entry appearing to show that it held an interim permission, when it did not, are matters the FCA is investigating as they may involve fraud or misconduct by persons connected with the firm who may have misused the register. In order to avoid prejudicing any proceedings which may arise from the investigation, the FCA are unable to provide further details of how they believe the change to the register came about.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is operationally independent from Government. These questions relate to the FCA and have been passed on to them. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

23rd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any action was taken to protect (1) documents of, and (2) client money in, Collateral (UK) Limited when they were made aware that that firm was acting without the authorisation of the Financial Conduct Authority; and if not, why not.

The Government monitors the development of the peer to peer (P2P) sector and engages regularly with P2P platforms and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector. This requires platforms to be authorised by the FCA and subject to FCA rules governing, among other areas, how they handle client money and promote themselves to consumers, and capital requirements.

The regulatory status of Collateral (UK) Ltd, and the events which led to its register entry appearing to show that it held an interim permission, when it did not, are matters the FCA is investigating as they may involve fraud or misconduct by persons connected with the firm who may have misused the register. In order to avoid prejudicing any proceedings which may arise from the investigation, the FCA are unable to provide further details of how they believe the change to the register came about.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is operationally independent from Government. These questions relate to the FCA and have been passed on to them. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

23rd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have investigated the change of name on the FCA register of authorised parties of Regal Pawnbrokers Limited to Collateral (UK) Limited; whether they identified any concerns about that change in respect of Collateral (UK) Limited; and if so, when.

The Government monitors the development of the peer to peer (P2P) sector and engages regularly with P2P platforms and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector. This requires platforms to be authorised by the FCA and subject to FCA rules governing, among other areas, how they handle client money and promote themselves to consumers, and capital requirements.

The regulatory status of Collateral (UK) Ltd, and the events which led to its register entry appearing to show that it held an interim permission, when it did not, are matters the FCA is investigating as they may involve fraud or misconduct by persons connected with the firm who may have misused the register. In order to avoid prejudicing any proceedings which may arise from the investigation, the FCA are unable to provide further details of how they believe the change to the register came about.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is operationally independent from Government. These questions relate to the FCA and have been passed on to them. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

23rd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they first became aware that Collateral (UK) Limited was acting without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); and why that company was allowed to take new client money without advising clients that the firm was not authorised by the FCA.

The Government monitors the development of the peer to peer (P2P) sector and engages regularly with P2P platforms and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are responsible for the regulation of the sector. This requires platforms to be authorised by the FCA and subject to FCA rules governing, among other areas, how they handle client money and promote themselves to consumers, and capital requirements.

The regulatory status of Collateral (UK) Ltd, and the events which led to its register entry appearing to show that it held an interim permission, when it did not, are matters the FCA is investigating as they may involve fraud or misconduct by persons connected with the firm who may have misused the register. In order to avoid prejudicing any proceedings which may arise from the investigation, the FCA are unable to provide further details of how they believe the change to the register came about.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is operationally independent from Government. These questions relate to the FCA and have been passed on to them. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

23rd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have identified any features in common in the cases of London Capital and Finance, Lendy Limited and Collateral (UK) Limited that require a change in regulation, law or process.

London Capital and Finance plc (LCF) are a firm that issued mini-bonds, that entered administration on 30 January 2018. On 23 May, the Treasury formally directed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch an independent investigation into the events at LCF, and approved the FCA’s appointment of Dame Elizabeth Gloster to lead it.

Lendy Limited and Collateral (UK) Limited are peer to peer (P2P) platforms authorised by the FCA and subject to FCA rules.

The operationally independent FCA’s investigation into the circumstances that led to the administration of Lendy is ongoing, and it would be inappropriate for Government to pre-empt its findings, or that of the investigation of the events at LCF.

23rd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what tests they apply to determine whether an investigation into the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) meets the standard required to be described as independent of the FCA; and what assessment they have made of whether FCA employees acting for an investigation compromises its independence.

Where such investigations are conducted, HM Treasury take steps to ensure their independence which is crucial to the integrity of their conclusions. For example, in the recent case of the events surrounding the failure of London Capital & Finance plc (LCF), and following a request from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Economic Secretary to the Treasury required that an independent investigation be carried out under powers in section 77 of the Financial Services Act 2012.

The Economic Secretary approved the appointment of Dame Elizabeth Gloster, an experienced QC and Judge at the High Court and Court of Appeal, to lead it. Prior to this approval, potential conflicts of interest were investigated and HM Treasury is satisfied that Dame Elizabeth is independent from the FCA, HM Treasury and the companies and individuals associated with LCF’s failure.

Under the terms of the Economic Secretary’s Direction to the FCA, Dame Elizabeth has the discretion to appoint a team which is entirely independent of the FCA. A process is now underway to appoint an independent legal team to support Dame Elizabeth in her investigation. The FCA is also under a duty to facilitate the disclosure to Dame Elizabeth any information that she deems relevant to the scope of her investigation. Should Dame Elizabeth wish to raise any matters directly to HM Treasury, she can do so at any time, under the terms of the Direction, via an interim report.

22nd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they or the Financial Conduct Authority have monitored rates of return projected by peer-to-peer lenders over the last two years; and whether such returns were assessed as to the (1) reasonableness of the projection, and (2) business record and experience of those managing the lending platform.

The Government believes that peer-to-peer platforms can deliver innovative forms of finance for both consumers and business that can provide competition in the marketplace and, as such, is keen to see the sector continue to grow and evolve while ensuring that consumers are adequately protected.

The Government continues to monitor the development of the sector and engages regularly with peer-to-peer platforms to understand their business models. We do not directly monitor the rates of return offered.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is operationally independent from Government. The question as it relates to the FCA has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

22nd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) letter as part of the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 24 June (HL16212), whether the FCA was (1) informed, or (2) otherwise aware, that investors via Lendy Limited were creditors to a peer-to-peer platform; and whether such information could have been determined from the accounts of Lendy Limited.

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

22nd Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Young of Cookham on 15 July (HL16842 and HL16843), whether they will now answer the questions put.

Investment fund suspensions arise when demand for redemptions exceeds the liquidity in the fund. To service these redemptions, a fund may need to sell assets at a depressed market value, to the detriment of investors, while selling only the liquid assets could result in a fund breaching its investment mandate and possibly FCA rules. The Government recognises that fund suspensions can thereby act to protect the interests of investors in the fund.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for the ongoing supervision and regulation of the UK’s financial services sector, including investment funds. The FCA’s detailed rule book ensures that firms treat their customer fairly, and its robust supervision and enforcement powers mean it can, and does, take action where a firm breaches the rules. Whether or not there has been any breach of regulatory requirements relating to UK funds and any possible investigation would be a matter for the FCA.

In circumstances where an investment fund is domiciled outside of the UK, the supervision of its compliance with applicable rules, such as the UCITS Directive, is a matter for the home state regulator.

If individuals have concerns about their investments, they should speak to their advisor or platform. If individuals have purchased units in a fund directly, they should speak with the relevant firm.

18th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have ever formally reviewed the case for the UK establishing its own requirements for liquidity standards for Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities at higher levels than specified by EU Directives; or whether the UK is currently bound by EU rules and cannot introduce higher standards.

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

17th Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Young of Cookham on 19 June (HL16113), what discussions they have had with the Financial Conduct Authority about the case for that body to conduct an investigation into its decision to authorise Lendy when it had concerns about that firm’s compliance with minimum regulatory standards and the adequacy of disclosure to lenders; and what assessment they have made of the case for any such investigation to include whether any investors in Lendy (1) suffered losses as a result of that authorisation, and (2) are entitled to compensation from the FCA or another institution.

Treasury Ministers and officials have regular meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The operationally independent FCA’s investigation into the circumstances that led to the administration of Lendy is ongoing, and it would be inappropriate for Government to pre-empt its findings.

1st Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications of Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency on the management of monetary and financial stability mechanisms and policies.

The Government does not comment on details of the proposed business models of individual companies. However, this proposal raises wider questions for policy and financial regulation. The Government is working with the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority and international counterparts to consider these issues.

More broadly, the Government established the Cryptoassets Taskforce – comprised of HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England - to explore the risks and potential benefits of cryptoassets and consider the appropriate response. The Taskforce’s response set out commitments to further consider the regulatory approach to cryptoassets. The Government will consult on its approach to unregulated cryptoassets later this year.

The Taskforce’s final report, found that cryptoassets do not currently pose a material threat to UK or global financial stability, however this could change in the future, and the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee will continue to monitor the situation.

1st Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether H20 Asset Management consulted (1) them, or (2) the Financial Conduct Authority, before that company indicated that it would never "gate" redemptions for its funds; what assessment they have made of the accuracy of that statement; and whether H2O Asset Management has been required to back that statement up with a guarantee or credit line.

There is no requirement for asset management firms to discuss their specific investment strategies with either HM Treasury or the FCA.

The overarching regulatory framework for UK UCITS funds comprises EU and UK legislation and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules.

The FCA is responsible for the supervision of UK funds including UCITS, and have a broad suite of supervisory and investigative powers. For example, the FCA is required to approve the investment objective and policy of UK domiciled funds, as well as statements in the prospectus about the application of investment limits, and firms are required to treat customers fairly.

In circumstances where a UCITS fund is domiciled outside of the UK, the supervision of its compliance with applicable UCITS investment restrictions is a matter for the home state regulator.

If individuals have concerns about their investments, they should speak to their advisor or platform. If individuals have purchased units in a fund directly, they should speak with the relevant firm.

1st Jul 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to conduct, or commission, an investigation into the management of investment portfolios by H2O Asset Management with particular reference to (1) the valuation of unlisted investments, and (2) the accuracy and completeness of statements by that firm’s management of the "gating" of future redemptions.

There is no requirement for asset management firms to discuss their specific investment strategies with either HM Treasury or the FCA.

The overarching regulatory framework for UK UCITS funds comprises EU and UK legislation and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules.

The FCA is responsible for the supervision of UK funds including UCITS, and have a broad suite of supervisory and investigative powers. For example, the FCA is required to approve the investment objective and policy of UK domiciled funds, as well as statements in the prospectus about the application of investment limits, and firms are required to treat customers fairly.

In circumstances where a UCITS fund is domiciled outside of the UK, the supervision of its compliance with applicable UCITS investment restrictions is a matter for the home state regulator.

If individuals have concerns about their investments, they should speak to their advisor or platform. If individuals have purchased units in a fund directly, they should speak with the relevant firm.

25th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of quantitative easing and bank capital requirements on (1) moving credit risk to open-ended investment funds, and (2) financial stability.

The question has been passed to the Bank of England. The Bank of England will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

11th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Financial Conduct Authority about establishing an independent review into the (1) role of corporate directors of open-ended investment funds, (2) limitations placed on unlisted and illiquid investments in such funds, and (3) systemic risks arising from daily dealing in the units of investment funds.

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

11th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any (1) systemic risk arising from open-ended investment funds investing in leveraged sub-investment grade bonds and debt issues by developing world nations denominated in G7 currencies, and (2) risks arising from such maturity transformation.

The question has been passed to the Bank of England. The Bank of England will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, when authorising Lendy, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) considered the company to be (1) an agent, or (2) a principal, in the relationship between the lender or borrower; or whether the FCA took no view on this matter.

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

10th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are investigating, or intend to investigate, the (1) management of, (2) investment valuations used by, and (3) relationships between managers and businesses invested in, the GAM Greensill Supply Chain Finance Fund.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the conduct regulator for the financial services industry in the UK. The FCA will not normally make public the fact that it is or is not investigating a particular matter, in order to protect the effectiveness of any investigation it carries out. The FCA has been made aware of this Parliamentary Question.

5th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have reviewed the market liquidity in the subprime sterling bond market in the context of increased bond issuance.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the Bank of England was set up to identify, monitor and take action to remove or reduce systemic risks with a view to protecting and enhancing the resilience of the UK financial system as part of the new financial regulatory framework legislated for under The Financial Services Act 2012. The FPC set out its most recent assessment of financial stability risks, including from the sterling bond market, in its March 2019 Policy Summary, in which it noted that post-crisis reforms have made dealers, on which some markets rely, more resilient, reducing the probability that market-making losses could lead to their distress or failure. In addition, the FPC noted that during the more recent period of volatility at the end of 2018, pension funds and insurers had acted as net buyers of sterling corporate bonds. Notwithstanding this, new business models mean that liquidity conditions in corporate debt markets could change quickly in event of stress. However, overall the FPC judged that markets had proved able to function effectively through volatile periods, and the strength of the core financial system, including banks, dealers and insurance companies, would support the functioning of markets on which the economy relied.

5th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will establish an independent review into the FCA’s supervision of Lendy and the actions taken by the FCA once it had raised questions about the firm’s compliance with minimum regulatory standards and disclosure to lenders.

There is an ongoing Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigation into the circumstances that have led to the administration of Lendy.

It is important that the FCA rules for P2P lending remain relevant for this evolving sector, and the new rules announced by the FCA on 4 June reflect this. These will help to ensure that investors have the information they need to make effective decisions about P2P investments, without imposing additional costs on borrowers.

5th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the consequences for depositor protection and financial stability from the number of lenders offering residential property mortgage loans at 95 per cent of value or higher; and what options are open to (1) them, (2) the Bank of England, and (3) the Prudential Regulation Authority, to protect depositors and ensure financial stability.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the Bank of England was set up to identify, monitor and take action to remove or reduce systemic risks with a view to protecting and enhancing the resilience of the UK financial system as part of the new financial regulatory framework legislated for under The Financial Services Act 2012. The FPC noted in their November 2018 Financial Stability Report that the share of households with high mortgage debt-servicing ratios (DSRs) is close to historical lows. The FPC has powers of direction to place limits on the proportion of new mortgages that a bank can extend at high LTV ratios, if it judges that this is required to mitigate financial stability risks.

While the Bank therefore has powers to tackle these risks, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), set up by the Government in 2001, also provides a key role in ensuring financial stability and protecting depositors. The FSCS provides deposit protection of up to £85,000 per person, per authorised firm. The Financial Services Markets Act 2000 gives powers to the regulators, including the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to make the rules in which FSCS carries out its compensation function.

4th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the terms of reference for Dame Elizabeth Gloster's inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of investment firm London Capital & Finance and the Financial Conduct Authority’s supervision of the firm do not include the impact on affected savers.

On 23 May, the Treasury formally directed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch an independent investigation into the events at London Capital & Finance (LCF), and approved the FCA’s appointment of Dame Elizabeth Gloster to lead it. The investigation will look at the events and circumstances surrounding the failure of LCF and whether, in its supervision of LCF, the FCA discharged its functions in a manner which enabled it to effectively fulfil its statutory objectives. Dame Elizabeth will be able to consider any other matters she deems relevant to the events set out in the Treasury’s direction to the FCA.

Dame Elizabeth is an experienced barrister, leading QC and Judge at the High Court and Court of Appeal. The Treasury is satisfied that she will be able to lead a robust and independent investigation.

The Treasury has stipulated that the investigation should be completed within 12 months, whilst allowing the investigator to report sooner than 12 months if this is feasible. This will ensure that the investigation is as thorough as possible and that the right lessons are learned to better protect those who invest their money in the future.

4th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role Dame Elizabeth Gloster played as counsel in cases arising out of (1) the insolvency of Barlow Clowes, and (2) the payment of compensation to investors in that firm's funds.

On 23 May, the Treasury formally directed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch an independent investigation into the events at London Capital & Finance (LCF), and approved the FCA’s appointment of Dame Elizabeth Gloster to lead it. The investigation will look at the events and circumstances surrounding the failure of LCF and whether, in its supervision of LCF, the FCA discharged its functions in a manner which enabled it to effectively fulfil its statutory objectives. Dame Elizabeth will be able to consider any other matters she deems relevant to the events set out in the Treasury’s direction to the FCA.

Dame Elizabeth is an experienced barrister, leading QC and Judge at the High Court and Court of Appeal. The Treasury is satisfied that she will be able to lead a robust and independent investigation.

The Treasury has stipulated that the investigation should be completed within 12 months, whilst allowing the investigator to report sooner than 12 months if this is feasible. This will ensure that the investigation is as thorough as possible and that the right lessons are learned to better protect those who invest their money in the future.

4th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government why 12 months have been allowed for the completion of Dame Elizabeth Gloster's inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of investment firm London Capital & Finance and the Financial Conduct Authority’s supervision of the firm.

On 23 May, the Treasury formally directed the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch an independent investigation into the events at London Capital & Finance (LCF), and approved the FCA’s appointment of Dame Elizabeth Gloster to lead it. The investigation will look at the events and circumstances surrounding the failure of LCF and whether, in its supervision of LCF, the FCA discharged its functions in a manner which enabled it to effectively fulfil its statutory objectives. Dame Elizabeth will be able to consider any other matters she deems relevant to the events set out in the Treasury’s direction to the FCA.

Dame Elizabeth is an experienced barrister, leading QC and Judge at the High Court and Court of Appeal. The Treasury is satisfied that she will be able to lead a robust and independent investigation.

The Treasury has stipulated that the investigation should be completed within 12 months, whilst allowing the investigator to report sooner than 12 months if this is feasible. This will ensure that the investigation is as thorough as possible and that the right lessons are learned to better protect those who invest their money in the future.

14th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the proposed independent review of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) supervision of London Capital and Finance will be supported by (1) an independent secretariat, or (2) secondees from the (a) FCA, (b) Prudential Regulation Authority, (c) HM Treasury, or (d) Bank of England.

On 23rd May, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury laid before Parliament a Direction requiring the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to carry out an independent investigation into the events and circumstances surrounding the failure of London Capital and Finance. The operational resourcing of this investigation will be a matter for the FCA and Dame Elizabeth Gloster, the independent investigator it appointed.

14th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have modelled the systemic risk impact of growth in instructional, non bank, lending.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the Bank of England was set up to identify, monitor and take action to remove or reduce systemic risks with a view to protecting and enhancing the resilience of the UK financial system as part of the new financial regulatory framework legislated for under The Financial Services Act 2012. Part of the FPC’s remit includes the responsibility for assessing risks in the financial system, including from the non-bank financial system. The FPC set out its most recent assessment of financial stability risks from the non-bank financial sector in its 28th November 2018 Financial Stability Report.

1st May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Treasury ministers or officials have been in discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about the establishment by the latter of an independent review into the FCA’s supervision of London Capital & Finance; and why the terms of reference of the review and the identity of the independent reviewer have not yet been published.

This Government takes the failure of London Capital & Finance (LCF) and its impact on consumers very seriously. The independent investigation will seek to better understand the circumstances around the collapse of LCF and make sure we are properly protecting those who invest their money in the future.

It is essential that the terms of the investigation are set in a way that ensures these objectives are met and take into account any issues arising from current regulatory and enforcement investigations. HM Treasury officials are working to develop these with the relevant bodies as a matter of priority. Further details on this investigation, including the appointment of the independent investigator, will be published shortly.

24th Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they, or the Financial Conduct Authority, are investigating the activities of Asset Life and the suitability of its directors.

This question has been passed on to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA will reply directly to Lord Myners by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

1st Apr 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what investigations they have initiated into the authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority for London Capital and Finance to offer ISA investments.

On 1 April, the Economic Secretary announced that he will use powers under the Financial Services Act 2012 to direct the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch an investigation into the events at London Capital & Finance and the circumstances surrounding them. This followed a request from the FCA Chair, Charles Randell, to the Economic Secretary to launch such an investigation.

Approval to act as an ISA manager is granted by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). When considering an application, HMRC undertakes checks to ensure that applicants hold the appropriate regulatory permissions from the FCA.

Once approval is granted, ISA managers must administer the ISA scheme in accordance with the ISA legislation. HMRC has a range of powers to tackle non-compliance with the rules, including withdrawing permission to act as an ISA manager, voiding non-compliant ISAs and reclaiming any incorrectly paid tax relief.

25th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to launch an independent review into the Financial Conduct Authority's regulatory oversight of London Capital and Finance Plc.

On 1 April, the Economic Secretary announced that he will use powers under the Financial Services Act 2012 to direct the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to launch an investigation into the events at London Capital & Finance and the circumstances surrounding them. This followed a request from the FCA Chair, Charles Randell, to the Economic Secretary to launch such an investigation.

The investigation will be led by an independent person appointed by the FCA, with the approval of HM Treasury.

25th Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government who is responsible for setting the credit risk budget for the Public Works Loan Board; who has responsibility for lending decisions; and when they last assessed the role of that Board in delivering public policy and fiscal management targets.

The Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) is a statutory body that issues loans to local authorities, and other specified bodies in England, Scotland and Wales. The PWLB’s policy framework is set by HM Treasury.

Responsibility for local authority spending and borrowing decisions lie with locally-elected council members, who are democratically accountable to their electorates. Since 2004, major local authorities have been able to borrow without government consent provided they can afford the borrowing costs. Local authorities are required to have regard to the Prudential Code and statutory guidance when they borrow from the PWLB or from any other lender. The Prudential Code and statutory guidance were updated in 2018 to increase transparency and accountability, and ensure that local authorities take investment decisions after careful consideration of risk and proportionality. Before it can advance a loan, the PWLB requires formal assurance from the authority that the loan is within their borrowing powers and the relevant legislation.

As with all policies, the government keeps the lending policy for the PWLB under review.

21st Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action, if any, they intend to take as a result of the recent concerns raised by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority in relation to Metro Bank and, in particular, that the bank may have provided inaccurate statements to investors.

Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) is the independent body established to implement the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) funded Alternative Remedies Package (the Package). BCR has sole responsibility for Package implementation, including responsibility for decisions on Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) awards.

Firm supervision is a matter for the independent regulators, in this case, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which jointly regulate Metro Bank.

21st Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are considering asking, or have asked, Banking Competition Remedies Limited to reconsider the allocation of part of the RBS State aid: alternative remedies package to Metro Bank, in the light of subsequent announcements by Metro Bank of a short fall in equity capital, truncated growth in branch openings and short comings in financial control and governance oversight.

Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) is the independent body established to implement the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) funded Alternative Remedies Package (the Package). BCR has sole responsibility for Package implementation, including responsibility for decisions on Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) awards.

Firm supervision is a matter for the independent regulators, in this case, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which jointly regulate Metro Bank.

21st Mar 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made, if any, to Banking Competition Remedies Limited in connection with its awards to banks in general, and Metro Bank in particular.

Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) is the independent body established to implement the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) funded Alternative Remedies Package (the Package). BCR has sole responsibility for Package implementation, including responsibility for decisions on Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) awards.

Firm supervision is a matter for the independent regulators, in this case, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which jointly regulate Metro Bank.