Lord Sikka

Labour - Life peer

Lord Sikka is not a member of any APPGs
Lord Sikka has no previous appointments


Scheduled Event
Thursday 21st July 2022
Debate - Main Chamber
Economic and social risks created by the regulation and practices of private equity
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Sitting Times
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 44 Labour No votes vs 22 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 158 Noes - 124
Speeches
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Strikes: Cover by Agency Workers
My Lords, even the Prime Minister condemned P&O’s violation of employment laws, and now the Government are going ahead with …
Written Answers
Tuesday 28th June 2022
Grenfell Tower: Fires
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether criminal charges relating to the Grenfell disaster have been brought; and if so, what …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Lord Sikka has voted in 219 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

21 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Sikka voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 116 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 29 Noes - 440
16 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Sikka voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 24 Labour No votes vs 51 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 145 Noes - 179
View All Lord Sikka Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Baroness Penn (Conservative)
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
(29 debate interactions)
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(28 debate interactions)
Baroness Stedman-Scott (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(18 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(35 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Lord Sikka's debates

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Sikka, 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 Sikka has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Lord Sikka has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Lord Sikka has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


174 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to meet survivors and bereaved relatives of the Grenfell disaster to discuss the Government’s handling of that tragedy.

Since taking post, the Levelling Up Secretary and Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing have been regularly meeting with bereaved families, survivors and local residents to discuss the issues which matter to the community. This includes four open community meetings as well as individual meetings with community groups.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) commercial organisations, and (2) individuals, have been prosecuted each year under the Bribery Act 2010 for failure to prevent bribery; and what outcome was secured in each such case.

Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010 provides that a commercial organisation is guilty of an offence of failing to prevent bribery if a person associated with the organisation bribes another person, intending to obtain or retain business or an advantage for the company. The offence can only be committed by a corporate body.

In respect of the two prosecuting agencies that the Attorney General superintends:

  • The Crown Prosecution Service has prosecuted one commercial organisation under Section 7, securing a conviction against Skansen Interiors Ltd in 2018.

  • The Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) has prosecuted one commercial organisation under Section 7, with Sweett Group plc pleading guilty in 2015. The SFO has also separately entered into six Deferred Prosecution Agreements (‘DPAs’) with companies for this offence:

Year

Number of DPAs

Company

2015

1

Standard Bank

2016

1

Sarclad

2017

1

Rolls-Royce

2018

0

2019

1

Guralp Systems ltd

2020

2

Airbus SE Airline Services ltd

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, how many (1) bank directors, (2) insolvency practitioners, (3) estate agents, (4) lawyers, and (5) accountants, have been prosecuted since the publication of the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking Project Lord Turnbull report, published on 22 June 2018.

The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) do not have a mechanism for recording the profession of defendants and so are unable to provide the data requested.

The CPS continue to play an important role in prosecuting professionals, whether they be professionals who have used their position to commit crimes or whether they have enabled others to commit crimes. This includes bank directors, insolvency practitioners, estate agents, lawyers, and accountants.

It is important that alongside prosecuting professional individuals, prosecutors should have the right tools to pursue and prosecute corporate bodies. In November last year, this government announced the Law Commission Project on Corporate Criminal Liability, which will be conducted over a 12-month period with a view to setting out potential options for reform.

The above answer represents the position for England and Wales only, and not for Scotland, for which the data, if available, would be held by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Lord Stewart of Dirleton
Advocate General for Scotland
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 24 January (HL Deb, col 21) where he stated that "total fraud loss across government is estimated at £29 billion a year", whether they will provide a list containing details of that loss.

The 2019-20 Fraud Landscape Report Bulletin, (which predates the pandemic), states that our best estimate of total fraud and error losses to Government are between £29bn and £52bn per year. This comprises the published estimates for fraud and error loss in tax and welfare, and an estimate for the rest of the system where the level is less well known.

For the 'rest of Government' (i.e. outside DWP and HMRC) the proportion of the estimate is between £2.5bn and £25bn a year. The ‘rest of Government’ estimate is overseen by an independent Oversight Board and built from a group of completed fraud and error measurement exercises done over the past 5 years.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which government departments do not invite (1) job applicants, and (2) promotion candidates, to provide any information about their ethnicity.

Government departments that use the Government Recruitment Service (GRS) vX recruitment system to track candidates will collect diversity data on all applicants.

Candidates applying on promotion via an external campaign will not be asked questions on their ethnicity. They are, however, expected to complete the diversity questionnaire.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the ethnicity pay gap in each government department.

There is currently no legislative requirement or set methodology for the collection and reporting of ethnicity pay data for employers. Therefore no ethnicity pay gap figures are currently available centrally.

The Commission for Race and Ethnic Disparities recommended that employers report on ethnicity pay on a voluntary basis and publish a diagnosis and action plan to address any disparities.

The government is carefully considering the findings of the Commission’s report and will publish its response in due course, alongside the response to the 2018/19 consultation on ethnicity pay reporting.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the gender pay gap in each government department.

The mean and median gender pay gaps for the Civil Service, as of 31 March 2021, were 7.8% and 8.1%, respectively.


Information on the gender pay gap in each government department is published annually, as part of Civil Service Statistics. A detailed breakdown of gender pay gap statistics by department, as of 31 March 2021, can be found here (published on GOV.UK on 28th July 2021).

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money is spent by each (1) Government department, and (2) regulatory body, on advertising with (a) Google, (b) Facebook, (c) Twitter, and (d) other social media platforms.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Dissolution. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who they have awarded contracts to as part of their response to COVID-19; and for each such entity, (1) how many contracts have been awarded, and (2) what is the value of those contracts.

Cabinet Office does not hold the information requested, as individual departments are responsible for their own procurements.


Central Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is (1) the number, and (2) the value, of COVID-19-related contracts awarded to (a) KPMG, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) Deloitte, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) G4S, and (f) Serco.

Central Government departments have drawn on the expertise and resources of a number of public and private sector partners to support the response to Covid-19. Details of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder at https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

Lord True
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will investigate the incorporation of Rothschild Family Investment Management Company Limited, registered at Companies House on 9 June.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

The Registrar of Companies has no current powers to verify information properly delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or other enactments.

However, following extensive consultation over 2020 and 2021, the Government published on 28 February 2022 a detailed White Paper setting out far-reaching reforms to Companies House.

It is the Government’s intention to bring forward appropriate legislation early in this session of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many companies registered in the UK with Companies House have a PO Box as their registered office address.

As of 15 June 2022, there are 7,633 companies on the Register who have provided a current registered office address that contains a PO Box.

The Registrar of Companies has the power to set a company's registered office address to a default Companies House address where a statutory process to dispute the address is complete. This default address includes PO Box 4385, and as of 5 June 2022 there are 9,005 companies registered to this address.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the names of recipients of fines levied upon PWC and its audit partner by the Financial Reporting Council for failures in auditing the statutory accounts of Kier Group plc.

The fine imposed by the Financial Reporting Council against PWC LLP in respect of the audit of the accounts of Kier Group plc was £3.35 million, adjusted for aggravating/mitigating factors and admissions/early disposal to £1,959,750. The fine imposed against the Audit Engagement Partner, Jonathan Hook, was £90,000, adjusted for aggravating/mitigating factors and admissions/early disposal to £52,650.

As the FRC investigation was under the FRC’s Audit Enforcement Procedure, the fines are subject to the requirement in regulation 5(7) of the Statutory Auditors and Third Country Auditors Regulations 2016 that the Financial Reporting Council must pay them to the Secretary of State at BEIS for remittance to the exchequer.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the names of recipients of fines levied upon KPMG and its audit partners by the Financial Reporting Council for failures in auditing the statutory accounts of Rolls Royce.

The fine imposed by the Financial Reporting Council against KPMG LLP in respect of the audit of the accounts of Rolls Royce plc was £4.2 million, adjusted for admissions and early disposal to £3.375 million. The fine imposed against the Audit Engagement Partner, Anthony Sykes, was £150,000, adjusted for admissions and early disposal to £112,500.

As the FRC investigation was under the FRC’s Audit Enforcement Procedure, the fines are subject to the requirement in regulation 5(7) of the Statutory Auditors and Third Country Auditors Regulations 2016 that the Financial Reporting Council must pay them to the Secretary of State at BEIS for remittance to the exchequer.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many companies listing Bitcoin mining as their main business are registered at Companies House.

Companies House are unable to provide this information as the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes used for the purposes of describing a company’s business activity does not include a code for “bitcoin mining”.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to investigate the affairs of App In The Air U.K. Ltd, a company registered at Companies House on 3 March 2022 with Mikhail Shelkov as the person with significant control.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

The Registrar of Companies has no current powers to verify information properly delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or other enactments.

However, following extensive consultation over 2020 and 2021, the Government published on 28 February 2022 a detailed White Paper (copy attached) setting out far-reaching reforms to Companies House which will mean that:

  • Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity with Companies House;
  • The Registrar will have new powers to challenge information that appears dubious, and will be empowered to inform security agencies of potential wrongdoing;
  • Company agents from overseas will no longer be able to create companies in the UK on behalf of foreign criminals or secretive oligarchs.

It is the Government’s intention to bring forward appropriate legislation early in the next session of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to investigate the affairs of “The Majestic Wonder Emporium of Mr Magoriums Directed at Islamic Bird Watching and Cricketing Endeavour for the Salvation of the Church and Torah on Sabbath Ltd ", a company registered at Companies House on 25 August 2021.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

The Registrar of Companies has no current powers to verify information properly delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or other enactments.

However, following extensive consultation over 2020 and 2021, the Government published on 28 February 2022 a detailed White Paper (copy attached) setting out far-reaching reforms to Companies House which will mean that:

  • Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity with Companies House;
  • The Registrar will have new powers to challenge information that appears dubious, and will be empowered to inform security agencies of potential wrongdoing;
  • Company agents from overseas will no longer be able to create companies in the UK on behalf of foreign criminals or secretive oligarchs.

It is the Government’s intention to bring forward appropriate legislation early in the next session of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to investigate the affairs of Eikone Ltd, a company registered at Companies House with £100 trillion authorized share capital

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

The Registrar of Companies has no current powers to verify information properly delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or other enactments.

However, following extensive consultation over 2020 and 2021, the Government published on 28 February 2022 a detailed White Paper (copy attached) setting out far-reaching reforms to Companies House which will mean that:

  • Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity with Companies House;
  • The Registrar will have new powers to challenge information that appears dubious, and will be empowered to inform security agencies of potential wrongdoing;
  • Company agents from overseas will no longer be able to create companies in the UK on behalf of foreign criminals or secretive oligarchs.

It is the Government’s intention to bring forward appropriate legislation early in the next session of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many companies have been registered at Companies House that have persons with significant control based in Russia since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Between 24 February and 3 March 2022, 28 new companies and one new limited liability partnership were incorporated reporting Russian nationals as registrable in accordance with PSC legislation. In the same period 9 further companies updated their details to report that a Russian national had become registrable under the same legislation. It should be noted that PSC information is provided by companies and is not verified by Companies House.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to investigate the authenticity of the information filed at Companies House by World Corporate Organization Ltd, which has an authorised share capital of £900 billion.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

The Registrar of Companies has no current powers to verify information properly delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or other enactments.

However, following extensive consultation over 2020 and 2021, the Government published on 28 February 2022 a detailed White Paper (copy attached) setting out far-reaching reforms to Companies House which will mean that:

  • Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity with Companies House;
  • The Registrar will have new powers to challenge information that appears dubious, and will be empowered to inform security agencies of potential wrongdoing;
  • Company agents from overseas will no longer be able to create companies in the UK on behalf of foreign criminals or secretive oligarchs.

It is the Government’s intention to bring forward appropriate legislation early in the next session of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to investigate the authenticity of the information filed at Companies House by The United States of Africa Corporation Ltd, which has an authorised share capital of £500 billion.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

The Registrar of Companies has no current powers to verify information properly delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or other enactments.

However, following extensive consultation over 2020 and 2021, the Government published on 28 February 2022 a detailed White Paper (copy attached) setting out far-reaching reforms to Companies House which will mean that:

  • Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity with Companies House;
  • The Registrar will have new powers to challenge information that appears dubious, and will be empowered to inform security agencies of potential wrongdoing;
  • Company agents from overseas will no longer be able to create companies in the UK on behalf of foreign criminals or secretive oligarchs.

It is the Government’s intention to bring forward appropriate legislation early in the next session of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to investigate the authenticity of the information filed at Companies House by The United States of America Corporation Ltd, which has an authorised share capital of £1.8 trillion.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

The Registrar of Companies has no current powers to verify information properly delivered in accordance with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006 or other enactments.

However, following extensive consultation over 2020 and 2021, the Government published on 28 February 2022 a detailed White Paper (copy attached) setting out far-reaching reforms to Companies House which will mean that:

  • Anyone setting up, running, owning or controlling a company in the UK will need to verify their identity with Companies House;
  • The Registrar will have new powers to challenge information that appears dubious, and will be empowered to inform security agencies of potential wrongdoing;
  • Company agents from overseas will no longer be able to create companies in the UK on behalf of foreign criminals or secretive oligarchs.

It is the Government’s intention to bring forward appropriate legislation early in the next session of this Parliament.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their forecast of the impact of the increase in the energy price cap announced by Ofgem 3 February 2022 on levels of fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty statistics are updated annually. The next update will be published on 24 February 2022. The report will include data for 2020 on the number of households living in fuel poverty in England and analysis of the composition of fuel poor households, as well as projections of the number of households in fuel poverty in 2021 and 2022. It is Ofgem’s role, as the independent regulator, to set a fair rate for the energy price cap. The price cap will ensure that over 22 million households pay a fair price for their gas and electricity.

Support for energy bills is available to eligible households through the Warm home Discount, the Winter Fuel Payment and the Cold Weather Payments. On 3 February, the Government announced a package of support worth £9.1 billion to help domestic energy customers with the cost of rising energy bills. This includes a £150 non-repayable Council Tax rebate in April 2022 to all households in Council Tax Bands A-D, £144 million of discretionary funding for local authorities to support those not eligible for the Council Tax rebate and a £200 discount on energy bills this Autumn for domestic electricity customers’ bills, to be paid back automatically over the next five years.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the third fine levied upon private equity group Cinven by the Competition and Markets Authority on 3 February for NHS price gouging, what plans they have to set up an independent inquiry into the company’s operations.

The Competition and Markets Authority’s decisions in respect of liothyronine and hydrocortisone tablets are subject to appeals to the Competition Appeal Tribunal. It would not be appropriate for the Government to comment on the matter while these legal proceedings are ongoing.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to prevent individuals associated with auditing firms fined by the Financial Reporting Council from sitting on the UK Endorsement Board.

The Chair and members of the UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) are appointed, following a fair and open recruitment process, in line with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code for Public Appointments. Recruitment also follows criteria set by the Secretary of State in the Terms of Reference covering diversity of knowledge and skills. Due diligence checks are also carried out on all proposed Board members to ensure the appropriateness of their appointment. The UKEB members are appointed in their individual capacity, are required to act independently, and in the UK long-term public good. This entails not showing preference to special interests and/or any employing entity and professional, sectoral or organisational affiliations. UKEB Board members are required to complete a Register of Interests, available on the UKEB website.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is responsible for the public oversight of statutory auditors, including investigation and sanctioning in relation to the statutory audits of Public Interest Entities and certain other entities. The FRC also provides a voluntary independent investigation and discipline scheme for matters relating to the accountancy or actuarial professions which raise important issues affecting the public interest.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 24 January (HL Deb, col 21) where he stated that "at the beginning of Covid, BEIS had the grand total of two counter-fraud officials on its staff", whether they will provide details about (1) where the staff were located, (2) their job specifications, (3) their qualifications, (4) their work experience, and (5) the dates on which any additional staff were appointed to perform similar tasks.

Prior to the Covid pandemic BEIS had 2 suitably qualified officials supported by a Civil Service fast streamer within the central Counter Fraud function however to consider this the total response to Counter Fraud is reductive.

As the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic developed, BEIS expenditure increased from a pre-COVID-19 level of less than £20 billion per year to over £100 billion. With the extraordinary speed of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme launch – necessary to ensure business across the UK received the financial support they so urgently needed as quickly as possible - BEIS deployed a Senior Civil Servant, with extensive experience in counter fraud, to lead the counter fraud effort and a number of BEIS employees were redeployed into counter fraud roles to support the core team leading on the COVID-19 loan schemes.

It is important to note that this represents only the core BEIS Counter Fraud function and that there is additional resource deployed across the BEIS affiliated organisations dealing with counter fraud. BEIS Counter Fraud function operates as part of the wider Government Counter Fraud function and with partners across the civil service and law enforcement.

In early 2021 investment was secured to expand the Counter Fraud capability including an additional 10 counter fraud posts, one being a permanent Senior Civil Service post. Recruitment for these posts started in mid-2021 and as at January 2022 the core BEIS counter fraud workforce has increased to nine.

Moving forward, this increase in BEIS counter fraud resource and capability will deliver a counter fraud centre of expertise, supporting and working with the many counter fraud experts across the Arm’s Length Bodies and Partner Organisations affiliated to BEIS. It will develop a robust Lessons process to build prevention strategies for future loans and grant schemes that our Arm’s Length Bodies and Partner Organisations may have deliver and provide the focal point for data collection and reporting between the affiliated groups and the Cabinet Office.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 24 January (HL Deb, col 21) where he stated that "three out of the seven main lenders account for 87 per cent of loans paid out to companies already dissolved", why the ratio is so skewed; and following his further remarks that "two of the seven account for 81 per cent of cases where loans were paid out to companies incorporated post-Covid", whether they will provide (1) names of the two lenders, (2) the (a) number, and (b) names, of the recipient companies incorporated after the start of the pandemic measures, and (3) the amounts of loans made to each of the companies.

The Bank continues to work with lenders in order to better understand and validate what may be driving these differences, and to share best practice, data and insight.

The Bank continues to publish the names of companies who took out loans under the scheme where required in line with reporting transparency requirements. We do not intend to name specific lenders at this time due to the commercially sensitive nature of this information.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 24 January (HL Deb, col 21) where he stated that "three out of the seven main lenders account for 87 per cent of loans paid out to companies already dissolved", whether they will provide (1) names of the three lenders, (2) the (a) number, and (b) names, of the dissolved companies, and (3) the amounts of loans made to each of the companies.

We do not intend to name specific lenders at this time due to the commercially sensitive nature of this information.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of permitting the directors of Spypriest Limited to file annual accounts at Companies House on 29 October 2021 under the name of War Trumpet Limited for the accounting period ending 31 January 2021.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020. In 2021, we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon.

The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime. These reforms will include the identity verification of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company, and new powers for the registrar to query and check information.

It will also include the requirement that the accounts filed with the Registrar must be the most detailed set of accounts that has been prepared for the company’s members.

We will bring forward legislation on these reforms when Parliamentary time allows.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks were made by Companies House to establish the authenticity of a director or secretary of MI5ER SCR00GE SPYPRIEST THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE LTD who gave his name as “Lord Truman Hell Christ”; and whether they have taken any action against this company or individuals associated with it for filing incorrect information at Companies House.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020. In 2021, we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon.

The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime. These reforms will include the identity verification of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company, and new powers for the registrar to query and check information.

It will also include the requirement that the accounts filed with the Registrar must be the most detailed set of accounts that has been prepared for the company’s members.

We will bring forward legislation on these reforms when Parliamentary time allows.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks were made by Companies House to establish the authenticity of a director or secretary of MI5ER SCR00GE SPYPRIEST THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE LTD who gave his name as "Judas Superadio Iskariot"; and whether they have taken any action against this company or individuals associated with it for filing incorrect information at Companies House.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020, and in 2021 we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon. The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime.

When parliamentary time allows, the Government intends to bring forward legislation to give the Registrar greater powers to check information before it is registered and to verify the identity of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks were made by Companies House to establish the authenticity of a director or secretary of the company MI5ER SCR00GE SPYPRIEST THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE LTD, who gave his name as "James Bond" and stated his occupation to be "Security Controller".

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020, and in 2021 we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon. The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime.

When parliamentary time allows, the Government intends to bring forward legislation to give the Registrar greater powers to check information before it is registered and to verify the identity of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks were made by Companies House to establish the authenticity of a director of Spypriest Limited who gave his name as "Joseph Smith Jr" and listed a number of implausible occupations in association with the company registration; and whether they have taken any action against the company, or individuals associated with it, for incorrect filing at Companies House.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020, and in 2021 we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon. The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime.

When parliamentary time allows, the Government intends to bring forward legislation to give the Registrar greater powers to check information before it is registered and to verify the identity of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks were made by Companies House to establish the authenticity of a secretary of Spypriest Limited who gave his name as "Victor Les-Appy Hugo"; and whether they have taken any action against (1) the company, or (2) individuals associated with the company, for filing incorrect information at Companies House.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020, and in 2021 we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon. The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime.

When parliamentary time allows, the Government intends to bring forward legislation to give the Registrar greater powers to check information before it is registered and to verify the identity of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks were made by Companies House to establish the authenticity of a secretary of Spypriest Limited who gave his name as "Mr Adolf Tooth Fairy Hitler"; and whether they have taken any action against (1) this company, or (2) individuals associated with it, for filing incorrect information.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020, and in 2021 we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon. The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime.

When parliamentary time allows, the Government intends to bring forward legislation to give the Registrar greater powers to check information before it is registered and to verify the identity of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what checks were made by Companies House to establish the authenticity of a director of Spypriest Limited who registered his name as "Lord Truman Michael Spypriest", and who listed a succession of implausible occupations in association with his registration; and whether they have taken any action against this individual for filing incorrect information.

We are unable to comment on individual cases.

We announced plans to reform Companies House in September 2020, and in 2021 we consulted on more detailed aspects of the reforms, and we will respond soon. The Government’s plans will deliver significant improvements to the integrity of the UK’s register of companies and assist greatly in the fight against economic crime.

When parliamentary time allows, the Government intends to bring forward legislation to give the Registrar greater powers to check information before it is registered and to verify the identity of directors, People with Significant Control and those filing on behalf of a company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 2 November 2021 (HL3320), what progress they have made in bringing criminal charges against KPMG’s insolvency partner for misconduct during the Silentnight insolvency.

In accordance with its normal investigation targeting process, the facts of this case, including the content of the Financial Reporting Counsel’s Disciplinary Tribunal Report, published in October 2021, is being reviewed by the Insolvency Service to decide if an investigation is required.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the recommended capital adequacy level for energy companies regulated by Ofgem.

Ofgem’s review of the financial regulatory framework for energy suppliers includes the consideration for capital adequacy requirements; Ofgem has committed to consult on this matter this coming Spring.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will provide a list of (1) UK offshore wind farms, (2) and UK offshore wind farms which are controlled by entities registered outside the UK.

The Crown Estate publishes an annual Offshore Wind Operational Report which contains both a list of UK offshore windfarms and details of their ownership.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, if any, against the directors of Tempus Court Developments Limited concerning claiming dormant company exemptions in their filings at Companies House on 18 March 2021 and 9 November 2021 for the financial years ending 31 July 2020 and 31 July 2021.

Where a document (whether filed electronically or on paper) appears to be “properly delivered”, the registrar is obliged to register it. A document is properly delivered when it contains the information required by law; is completed in the proper form; has the correct fee attached (where appropriate) and is authenticated.

The Registrar of Companies does not have the legal power to verify or validate information filed with her. If a complaint is received as to the content of the filing, Companies House may contact the entity to make enquiries. No complaint has been received in this case.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, if any, against the directors and partners of Mortar Tempus Court LLP concerning the accuracy of annual accounts filed at Companies House on 18 March 2021 and 9 November 2021 for the financial years ending 31 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

Where a document (whether filed electronically or on paper) appears to be “properly delivered”, the registrar is obliged to register it. A document is properly delivered when it contains the information required by law; is completed in the proper form; has the correct fee attached (where appropriate) and is authenticated.

The Registrar of Companies does not have the legal power to verify or validate information filed with her. If a complaint is received as to the content of the filing, Companies House may contact the entity to make enquiries. No complaint has been received in this case.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken, if any, against the directors of Tempus Court Developments Limited concerning the accuracy of annual accounts filed at Companies House on 18 March 2021 and 9 November 2021 for the financial years ending 31 July 2020 and 31 July 2021.

Where a document (whether filed electronically or on paper) appears to be “properly delivered”, the registrar is obliged to register it. A document is properly delivered when it contains the information required by law; is completed in the proper form; has the correct fee attached (where appropriate) and is authenticated.

The Registrar of Companies does not have the legal power to verify or validate information filed with her. If a complaint is received as to the content of the filing, Companies House may contact the entity to make enquiries. No complaint has been received in this case.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimates they have made of the (1) number, and (2) value, of loans under the various coronavirus schemes which are deemed irrecoverable; and what are the reasons for them being irrecoverable.

Estimates can be found in the Department’s latest Annual Report and Accounts (copy attached). The Department has set out its estimates of losses expected through the three COVID-19 loan schemes and associated guarantees in note 19 to the accounts. While it is too early to give a definitive view of what the final level of irrecoverable debt will be, early repayment data is encouraging compared against the worst-case scenarios described in some published estimates.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) number, and (2) value, of loans issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme that were made to (a) companies formed within seven days before the loan application, and (b) companies which were dormant and never traded.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is a delegated scheme and lending decisions were made by the accredited lenders.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) number, and (2) value, of loans made under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to companies formed within 14 days before the application for the loans.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is a delegated scheme and lending decisions were made by the accredited lenders.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many complaints about the conduct of insolvency practitioners have been filed with (1) the Insolvency Service, and (2) each of the Recognised Professional Bodies, during each of the last five years; how many have been investigated; how many are outstanding; and how many insolvency practitioners' licences to practice have been revoked.

The Insolvency Service does not generally investigate complaints against Insolvency Practitioners, who are individuals licensed and regulated by one of four authorising bodies, known as the Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs). Instead, the Insolvency Service operates a single point of contact, the Complaints Gateway, which provides an independent and consistent assessment of complaints about insolvency practitioners. On receipt of a complaint the Gateway will assess it against objective criteria and, if it is within scope, pass it to the relevant RPB for consideration.

Statistical information, including on the number of complaints received and referred to the RPBs, is published each year as part of The Insolvency Service’s ‘Annual Review of Insolvency Practitioner Regulation’ which is available on GOV.UK.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the number of suppliers selling (1) gas, and (2) electricity, to (a) households, and (b) businesses.

The Government believes competition is the best driver of value and innovation in the energy market, giving households and businesses the best deals.

Together with Ofgem, the Government is considering what reforms are needed to improve competition and resilience in the energy retail market. In considering these reforms, the Government will take account of the lessons learned from the current market.

The Government is also working with the energy industry to put it on a more stable footing in the longer-term. This includes continuing to build a robust domestic renewable energy sector so that Government is less exposed to global volatility in natural gas supply and demand.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the fines levied by the Financial Reporting Council on Grant Thornton and its partner for audit failures at Interserve will be retained by HM Treasury; and what proportion will be distributed to stakeholders negatively affected by those failures.

The FRC undertook the investigation into the audit of Interserve under its Audit Enforcement Procedure (AEP), the regime applicable to statutory audit investigations since 2016. All fines imposed under the AEP are paid into HM Treasury’s consolidated fund in line with the general principles applying to the treatment of fines or other penalties imposed by public bodies in central government.

In this case, the fine imposed on Grant Thornton LLP amounted to £1.3 million. This was adjusted for mitigating factors and admissions / early disposal, in line with the FRC’s published Sanctions Policy for AEP cases, to £718,250. The fine imposed on Simon Lowe, the audit engagement partner, was £70,000. This was adjusted for mitigating factors and admissions / early disposal to £38,675.

The £467,780 costs recovered have been paid to the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), as the Recognised Supervisory Body (RSB) who paid for the investigation. (In accordance with paragraph 20ZA, Schedule 10 of the Companies Act 2006, the RSB, which has approved the persons as eligible for appointment as statutory auditors must pay the costs of the investigation).

There is no provision under the AEP for any proportion of fines or successfully reclaimed costs to be paid to any negatively affected stakeholders.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase financial penalties for employers violating the minimum wage law.

This Government takes the enforcement of the minimum wage seriously. That’s why we have doubled HMRC’s budget for enforcing the minimum wage since 2015.

In April 2016 we doubled the minimum wage penalty paid by employers; from 100% to 200% of the arrears owed to the worker, up to a maximum of £20,000 per worker. Any employer found to have underpaid their workers is subject to this substantial penalty and also to be publicly named and shamed. This is a significant deterrent against any employer who may be tempted to underpay their workers.

Our priority has always been to ensure that workers receive the money they are owed as quickly as possible. It is for this reason, in the vast majority of cases, HMRC pursue civil enforcement, and why since 2015 the Government has been able to order employers to repay £100 million to 1 million workers.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to publish a list showing fines collected from auditors admonished for misconduct by the Financial Reporting Council.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) publishes all financial sanctions imposed against audit firms and individuals in an Outcomes document on its website. This document is maintained and updated throughout the year.

In addition, on a yearly basis, the FRC publishes its Annual Enforcement Review, which contains a list of all sanctions imposed in the year. The Review for 2021 is available on the FRC website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to bring criminal charges against KPMG’s insolvency partner for misconduct during the Silentnight insolvency.

The Insolvency Service is considering the facts of the case and the Financial Reporting Council’s Disciplinary Tribunal report published in October this year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Carillion directors have been disqualified from future company directorships.

The Insolvency Service, acting for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has applied to the High Court for director disqualification orders against eight directors and former directors of Carillion. The proceedings are ongoing.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how are ombudsmen used by those responsible for regulating insolvency practitioners (1) selected, (2) appointed, and (3) remunerated.

The four recognised professional bodies (RPBs) responsible for the regulation of Insolvency Practitioners do not engage ombudsmen in their oversight systems. However, each RPB has independent committees that oversee regulatory decisions. In order to maintain independence, the committees require an equal or majority lay membership. Further, each of the RPB’s complaints processes includes potential referral of a complaint to an independent reviewer of complaints. The reviewers of complaints are lawyers who work independently and consider an RPB’s decision where it has determined there is no case to answer.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government who received (1) the £13 million fine levied from KPMG, and (2) the £500,000 levied from KMPG’s insolvency partner, as ordered by the Financial Report Council after the Silentnight insolvency.

The FRC undertook the investigation into Silentnight under its accountancy scheme. For statutory audit investigations since 2016 this scheme has not applied and fines are paid into HM Treasury’s consolidated fund. However, the Silentnight investigation was into KPMG’s accounting services and was launched in 2015 so fines and any costs recovered are paid to the relevant chartered accountancy body. In this case they were paid to the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what fees have been charged by the liquidators of BHS; and when the liquidation is likely to be finalised.

The most recent joint liquidators’ report for the period ending 1 December 2020, filed at Companies House in relation to SHB Realisations Limited (formerly BHS Limited), shows that fees were drawn in the sum of £4,858,117.

Anthony Wright and Geoffrey Rowley of FRP Advisory LLP are the joint liquidators. We have not yet been informed as to when they expect to conclude the liquidation.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the collapse of Greensill Capital on the recovery of loans relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Government and the British Business Bank (Bank) are closely monitoring the situation with respect to Greensill Capital.

Lenders offering finance via the Covid-19 loan schemes are expected to adhere to the terms of the guarantee agreement, and the Bank will take appropriate action in the event of non-compliance.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken, if any, against the (1) designers, (2) sellers, and (3) implementers, of the Horizon software accounting system used by the Post Office.

The Government wants to be fully assured that the right lessons are learned for the future, that concrete changes have taken place at Post Office Limited and that this situation will never be repeated. That is why we launched the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry. We will consider the outcomes of the Inquiry in due course and we will not speculate on individual responsibility before the Inquiry has reported.

While Post Office Limited is publicly owned, it operates as an independent, commercial business. Therefore, details regarding actions against Fujitsu is an operational matter for Post Office Limited.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of businesses subject to pre-pack administration survive longer than (1) five years, (2) 10 years, and (3) 15 years.

The Government does not hold or collect information on survival rates of businesses subject to a pre-pack administration.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government which (1) sections of the Companies Act 2006, or (2) regulations made under that Act, outline (a) the accounting treatment, and (b) the disclosure requirements, for finance secured through reverse factoring.

The Companies Act 2006 does not include specific requirements for finance secured through reverse factoring. However, section 393 places a requirement on directors that the accounts must provide a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of a company or group. This places a responsibility to provide such information as is necessary to ensure that requirement is met, including where reverse factoring is used in supply chain arrangements.

The correct accounting treatment for reverse factoring is dependent on the terms and conditions of the factoring arrangement in place. The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Interpretations Committee and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have both issued guidance addressing the accounting standards requirements for reverse factoring, including guidance on additional disclosures. Copies of the guidance are attached below. The International Accounting Standards Board is also considering whether to add a project on reverse factoring to its agenda, as part of their responsibility for issuing International Financial Reporting Standards.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 27 October 2020 (HL9157), whether they will provide (1) the names of the “Several bodies” who have “powers in certain circumstances to investigate and take action if illegal dividends have been paid”; and (2) the number of cases examined by each such body.

Compliance is primarily a matter for the directors, and there are rights of recourse to the courts in response to unlawful distributions. Where a company becomes insolvent after paying dividends the courts have wide powers to apply a variety of sanctions and remedies. Data on illegal dividends is not collected.

A number of bodies, however, have an interest in dividend payments from their particular regulatory perspectives. They include the Insolvency Service and insolvency practitioners who will investigate dividend payments and seek to recover them if they are found to be illegal. HM Revenue and Customs has an interest in the proper payment of dividends to the extent that there may be tax consequences leading to a loss to the Exchequer. The Prudential Regulation Authority has rules and powers under financial services legislation regarding dividends and other distributions for the purpose of banks and building societies’ capital conservation. Data on this aspect of the regulators’ work is not collected.

Proposals in the Government’s recently published consultation document on Restoring Trust in Audit and Corporate Governance would improve dividend transparency and provide stronger reassurance that dividends are being paid in line with the requirements of the Companies Act 2006. These include proposals to require companies to disclose their known distributable reserves in their financial statements, and to require directors to confirm that dividends are within known distributable reserves and that it is their reasonable expectation that payment of the dividend will not threaten the solvency of the company over the next two years.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of workers are paid less than the statutory minimum wage.

The Government is committed to ensuring employers correctly pay the National Minimum Wage (NMW). We have more than doubled the budget for the NMW enforcement and compliance, rising to £27.5 million for 20/21, up from £13.2 million in 2015/16. In 2019/20, HM Revenue & Customs identified £20.8 million in arrears for over 263,000 workers and issued just under 1,000 penalties totalling £18.5 million to non-compliant employers.

The ONS’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) provides our primary estimate of the proportion of workers who are paid below the statutory minimum wage. The Low Pay Commission (LPC) published estimates in their 2020 report, which found that 347,000 workers (or 1.4% of all jobs) were underpaid the relevant minimum wage in April 2020. This excludes individuals who were furloughed, as they would not have been working at that time. The LPC figure follows our 2019 estimate, where underpayment was estimated to be approximately 408,000, equivalent to 1.4% of all jobs.

We will publish further information on minimum wage underpayment in due course, in our annual enforcement report.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what fees have been paid to PriceWaterhouseCoopers for acting as special managers assisting the official receiver in relation to the liquidation of Carillion.

The remuneration paid to PriceWaterhouseCoopers as special managers assisting the Official Receiver in the Carillion liquidations is £59,593,062 (net of VAT) for the period from 15 January 2018 to 21 January 2021.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have (1) to create databases setting out the number of (a) personal, and (b) corporate, bankruptcies caused by the impact of COVID-19; and (2) to publish these numbers at monthly intervals.

Whilst some of this information is already collected, such as the causes of personal insolvency and some corporate insolvencies that are dealt with by the Official Receiver, these only represent a small fraction of the total number of corporate and personal insolvency cases and would not therefore be representative.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much unsecured creditors have been unable to recover from the bankruptcy of their corporate customers in each of the last five years.

This information is not collated and held centrally. Information on individual corporate insolvencies at Companies House contains reports filed by the appointed insolvency office holder which will detail the amounts owed to different types of creditors, including unsecured creditors, and any payments made to those creditors from the realisation of assets during the course of the insolvency process.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many directors of Carillion plc have been disqualified as directors since the report by the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee and Work and Pensions Select Committee Carillion (HC 769) was published on 16 May 2018.

The Insolvency Service’s enquiries into Carillion plc are ongoing. Once complete, a decision will be made on whether it is in the public interest to commence disqualification proceedings against any of the directors of the company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government which body is responsible for monitoring payments of possible illegal dividends; and how many cases that body has examined in the last five years.

Several bodies have powers in certain circumstances to investigate and take action if illegal dividends have been paid, including the Insolvency Service, HM Revenue and Customs and some sector regulators.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the number of business liquidations which remain incomplete after (1) 5 years, (2) 10 years, and (3) 15 years or more, after their commencement.

These figures are made up of private limited, public limited and unlimited companies. Companies House does not register details of sole traders etc and cannot provide information about them.

The number of private limited, public limited and unlimited company liquidations which remain incomplete after (1) 5 years (2) 10 years, and 3 (15) years is as follows:

Between 5 and 9 Years

Between 10 and 14 Years

15 Years and More

7,962

3,642

14,328

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government who were the ultimate beneficial recipients of (1) the £15 million fine and £5,635,014 costs levied by the Financial Reporting Council on Deloitte on 17 September in respect of audit failures at Autonomy Corporation Plc, and (2) the £500,000 and £250,000 fines levied upon two Deloitte partners.

The three fines in the enforcement case relating to Autonomy Corporation plc were imposed under the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC’s) Accountancy Scheme. Since 2016, a new Audit Enforcement Procedure has been implemented under the Statutory Auditors and Third Country Auditors Regulations 2016 for investigations of possible breaches of relevant requirements by statutory auditors under those Regulations.

The investigation into Autonomy Corporation plc started before those regulations came into force. Under the Accountancy Scheme the fines must be passed to the participating body which is required to fund the legal costs of the case. Additionally, any costs awarded by the tribunal in recognition of the costs funded by the participating body must also be paid to that body. In this case the participating body was the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Fines imposed by the FRC under the Audit Enforcement Procedure must be paid to the Secretary of State and the Exchequer. Any costs awarded to the FRC in recognition of the costs funded by one of the recognised audit supervisory bodies must continue to be paid to that body.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much each (1) department, and (2) regulatory body, spends on advertising on (a) Google, (b) Facebook, (c) Twitter, and (d) other social media platforms.

DCMS has spent the following on advertising in FY 21/22:

  • Google - £8,962.41

  • Facebook - £10,443.81

  • Twitter - £100

  • Linkedin - £240

The Gambling Commission and the ICO have given nil returns. DCMS do not have access to this level of information for Charity Commission, Ofcom and the PSA for FY 21/22, since these regulatory bodies are not obliged to give DCMS a breakdown of their expenditure in this way.

The Department has also spent the sums below on advertising job vacancies - all costs are annual, unless stated otherwise:

  • Civil Service Jobs (to post roles to the Civil Service Jobs website): £20,826

  • Vercida (online job board where DCMS has a profile and posts content): £21,800

  • LinkedIn (costs to place a vacancy on the LinkedIn platform): £19,392

Other costs may be incurred for executive level roles where adverts are placed on online platforms, but these are agreed on an ad hoc basis.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Jersey Gambling Commission regarding capital adequacy and stress tests carried out on Football Index.

The government is monitoring the situation with Football Index closely and Ministers [the Secretary of State and Minister for Media and Data] have met the Gambling Commission twice to receive urgent reports. A live investigation by the Commission is ongoing. The Commission has been in close contact with the Jersey Gambling Commission throughout this case and continues to work closely with them. Further information can be found on the Commission’s website: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2021/BetIndex-update.aspx

The Gambling Commission does not carry out capital adequacy and stress tests, which would normally apply to banks, or routinely monitor the financial viability of operators. It looks at suitability when licensing an operator, including their financial circumstances, and may review these aspects in the course of its compliance activity. The Commission will investigate where there is evidence that operators have breached licence conditions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what dates capital adequacy and stress tests were carried out by the UK Gambling Commission on Football Index; and what the outcome was of those checks.

The government is monitoring the situation with Football Index closely and Ministers [the Secretary of State and Minister for Media and Data] have met the Gambling Commission twice to receive urgent reports. A live investigation by the Commission is ongoing. The Commission has been in close contact with the Jersey Gambling Commission throughout this case and continues to work closely with them. Further information can be found on the Commission’s website: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2021/BetIndex-update.aspx

The Gambling Commission does not carry out capital adequacy and stress tests, which would normally apply to banks, or routinely monitor the financial viability of operators. It looks at suitability when licensing an operator, including their financial circumstances, and may review these aspects in the course of its compliance activity. The Commission will investigate where there is evidence that operators have breached licence conditions.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have conducted a survey to ascertain how many school pupils do not have access to (1) a computer, laptop or tablet, and (2) home broadband; and if not, what plans they have to conduct such a survey.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of 15 February 2021, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, trusts, local authorities and further education providers.

Laptops and tablets are owned by schools, trusts, local authorities, or further education providers who can lend these to children and young people who need them most during the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Government is providing this significant injection of laptops and tablets on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. The extra provision of laptops and devices is in line with Ofcom’s estimates for the number of pupils who do not have access to a device.

Ofcom has estimated that between 1.1 and 1.8 million children do not have access to a device across the whole of the UK. Education is devolved so our programme is just for England.

The Department estimated the number of disadvantaged pupils without access to an internet connection using data on pupils eligible for free school meals in each school, taking into consideration that some pupils would already have access to a private internet connection and estimations by Ofcom. Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have delivered over 60,000 routers to schools, local authorities, and trusts.

We have conducted surveys with schools, pupils and parents throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and have collected data on access to technology, which will be published in due course.

To support disadvantaged households who rely on a mobile internet connection, the Government has partnered with some of the UK’s leading mobile network operators, to help ensure that families have the data they need to access online educational resources while COVID-19 requires children to learn from home.

In partnership with mobile network operators, the Department is providing a service for schools if they have identified families who do not have a broadband connection and need free mobile data uplifts to engage in remote education.

Following a successful pilot, the offer is now available for schools across England to request free mobile data uplifts for disadvantaged children via the Get Help with Technology service.

8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional resources they plan to make available to (1) schools, (2) colleges, and (3) universities, to administer the Turing scheme.

The Turing scheme will be backed by at least £100 million of public money, providing funding for around 35,000 students in universities, colleges, and schools to go on placements and exchanges overseas, starting in September 2021. We will be making further information available very shortly to enable providers to prepare to bid for funding when applications open in the coming weeks. Successful applicants will receive funding for administering the scheme and students taking part will receive grants to help them with the costs of their international experience.

We are pleased that the new scheme will be administered by the same consortium of the British Council and Ecorys which has been delivering Erasmus+ in the UK for a number of years, so will be able to draw on those organisations’ experience of working with education providers across the UK and ensure helpful continuity.

Further details of the scheme will be published shortly.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the speech 'A water industry that works for everyone' by the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 1 March 2018 in which he said that water companies have "avoided paying taxes", what amount of corporate taxes have since been paid by each of the water companies.

The amounts of corporation tax paid by water companies since 1 March 2018 can be viewed in the water companies’ published annual reports and accounts, which are publicly available.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish a table showing the harmful substances released by each water company into rivers and seas.

In terms of releases to water, the relevant regulatory processes refer to hazardous substances rather than harmful substances; any substance could potentially be harmful. Within the context of this question, substances has been taken to mean chemicals.

The Environment Agency (EA) reports against a range of measures which assess hazardous substances in the water environment. Chemical classification is based on environmental data rather than the monitoring of discharges. The EA has recently published its report on ‘Regulating for people, the environment and growth’ which can be found here, which references some emissions information for different media including water.

The Environment Agency has worked with the water industry on a programme of research into chemicals in discharges from wastewater, including research into technologies that can provide treatment for chemicals. More information on the Chemicals Investigation Programme can be found here with data from the programme so far published and available here. Phase 2 of the programme concluded in 2020 following investment of £140 million and Phase 3 is currently underway. Phase 3 outputs will made available when completed.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on (1) the quality of water, (2) human health, and (3) the soil condition, of the countries receiving plastic waste exported from the UK.

While waste is a commodity, and there is a legitimate global market for secondary materials, it must be and is subject to strict controls. There is a system of international rules on waste shipments that must be followed when exporting waste. UK legislation requires that those involved in the shipment of waste take all necessary steps to ensure waste is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and at the waste management facility in the country of destination. Any operators found to be illegally exporting waste can face severe sanctions - from financial penalties to imprisonment for a period of up to two years.

The UK Government has conducted no assessment of the impact of UK plastic waste exports. The Government has, however, funded programmes, active in several countries that import plastic waste from the UK, which are working to address the sources of ocean plastic pollution.

Working with the World Economic Forum, the UK has supported the development of National Plastic Action Partnerships (NPAPs) in Ghana and Indonesia, with a third having launched in Vietnam in December 2020, to help create circular plastic economies. In Vietnam this platform aims to help dramatically reduce its flow of plastic waste into the ocean and eliminate single-use plastics from coastal tourist destinations and marine protected areas. We aim to support 25 NPAPs by 2025.

The Commonwealth Litter Programme brings together scientists, policy makers and communities around the world to identify actions which can be taken to stop plastic entering the marine environment, collect beach litter and measure marine microplastics, and raise awareness of what individuals and society can do to protect our marine habitats and wildlife. Having so far worked in Belize, South Africa, the Pacific, and India since its launch in 2018, the Programme is currently expanding in the South Asian region.

Finally, having signed a UK 'Plastics Pact' in 2018, the UK is now funding the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to support Commonwealth countries to develop their own Plastics Pacts. WRAP is working to develop a network of Plastics Pacts around the world to a support broader transition to a Plastic Circular Economy.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect the increase in the energy price cap will have on individuals in receipt of the state pension.

No assessment has been made.

This country has never paid our pensioners more. This year, we will spend over £129 billion on the State Pension and benefits for pensioners in Great Britain.

The Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Act 2020 raised the State Pension by 2.5% from April 2021 although CPI was 0.5% and earnings were negative. From April, the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension will be around £720 more in 2022/23 than if it had been up-rated by prices since 2010. That’s a rise of over £2,300 in cash terms.

In addition, around 1.4 million eligible pensioners across Great Britain receive around £5 billion annually in Pension Credit, which tops up their retirement income and act as a passport to other financial help, such as support with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and a free TV licence for those over 75.

Cold weather payments are payable to those in receipt of Pension Credit and the warm home discount - a rebate of £140 on a customer’s energy bill - is available to those in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit. From 2022/23 the eligibility criteria for the warm home discount scheme will be extended to a greater number of Pension Credit customers and the payment increased to £150.

Customers of State Pension age are also entitled to an annual Winter Fuel payment worth up to £300. This winter we will pay over 11m pensioners a winter fuel payment at an annual cost of £2bn which is a significant contribution to winter fuel bills.

The Chancellor’s announcement on 3 February of a package of support to help households with rising energy bills, worth £9.1 billion in 2022-23, will also be available to eligible pensioners.

Further support for pensioners includes free eye tests and NHS prescriptions worth around £900m every year and free bus passes worth £1bn every year.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people who have claimed Statutory Sick Pay following one or more COVID-19 infections.

Employers are not required to report payments of Statutory Sick Pay, or reasons for that payment. The data requested is therefore not available.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the annual cost of administering the £10 Christmas bonus paid to individuals receiving the state pension and other benefits.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost to the department.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many letters they are sending this year to the recipients of the state pension and other eligible benefits informing them of the annual £10 Christmas bonus; and what is the cost of such letters.

The vast majority of Christmas Bonus payments are included in the regular benefit payments. DWP does not send out specific, stand-alone letters, so there is no extra cost incurred by the department.

A manual Christmas Bonus payment may be made by exception. These are cases, which for a number of reasons, have fallen out of the scans that identify eligible claimants. In this scenario, a clerical payment is made and a separate letter is sent. This stand-alone letter, is a one-off communication. Associated costs are not held, however as volumes are very low.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Women’s State Pension age: our findings on the Department for Work and Pensions’ communication of changes, published on 19 July; and what compensation they will pay to the women affected by maladministration identified in the report.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has not completed his investigation. This a multi staged process and the report published on 20 July 2021 concluded stage-one of the 3- stage investigation.

It would not be appropriate to comment on the PHSO’s report whilst the investigation is ongoing; section 7(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 states that Ombudsman investigations “shall be conducted in private”.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the median state pension for (1) men, and (2) women.

The median weekly amount of State Pension paid, by gender, at the end of May 2021 is shown in the below table. These show payments under the two systems: - (i) the basic State Pension (bSP) plus other components such additional State Pension (SERPS and State Second Pension) and Graduated Retirement Benefit, which operated for people who reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016; and (ii) the new State Pension (nSP) system for people reaching State Pension age from that date onwards.

Please note that this does not include any payments of Pension Credit which people may be receiving in addition to their contributory State Pension.

Median weekly amount of State Pension (£) by gender, Quarter ending May 2021

Type of State Pension

Women

Men

Total

Pre 2016 State Pension

150.25

172.83

160.82

New State Pension

174.47

178.52

176.93

Source: DWP, Data and Analytics, Digital Group - Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, and other administrative data.

Notes:

  1. Coverage: All cases in payment in Great Britain, plus claimants residing abroad. This excludes cases administered in Northern Ireland.
  2. This data table provides temporary estimates for May 2021. The data will be withdrawn and replaced with new data on Stat-Xplore once the Get Your State Pension (GYSP) system data have been reliably developed and tested.
  3. Table 11 of the latest published statistics provides the mean weekly amount of State Pension paid, by gender, at the end of May 2021.
Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will provide a table showing (1) each of the benefits that individuals reaching the state pension age are entitled to claim, (2) the number of individuals who are entitled to claim such benefits, and (3) the number of individuals claiming them.

  1. Individuals at or above State Pension age may be entitled to apply for financial support from amongst the following DWP benefits, depending upon their personal circumstances:

Attendance Allowance

Carer's Allowance

Christmas Bonus

Disability Living Allowance

Housing benefits

Industrial Injuries Disability benefits

Pension Credit

Personal Independence Payment

State Pension

Severe Disablement Allowance

Winter Fuel Payments

  1. We have data available for the number of families who are entitled to claim such benefits for Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. We do not hold this information for the other benefits in which pensioners may be entitled. These are from the Income-related benefits: estimates of take up: financial year 2018 to 2019.

Benefit

Number of families entitled 2018/19

Pension Credit

2,490,000

Housing Benefit (Pensioners)

1,440,000

There are already around 1.4 million people claiming around £5 billion in Pension Credit. We want to make sure that all eligible pensioners claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled. The DWP conducted a media day in June with support from Age UK and the BBC and others, using national and local media to help reach older people reticent about claiming Pension Credit. There have also been press articles since then to encourage take-up.

The working group which DWP has established includes a diverse range of organisations including pensioner charities as well as the BBC, British Telecom, Virgin Money and the Local Government Association. The group met most recently on 19 October and we hope that it will identify new practical initiatives to help address Pension Credit take up.

  1. The number of individuals claiming the following benefits can be found on Table 2c of the Benefit Expenditure and Caseload tables 2021 on Gov.uk.

Benefits directed at Pensioners

Caseload 2020/21

Attendance Allowance

1,388,000

Carer’s Allowance

287,000

Christmas Bonus

12,275,000

Disability Living Allowance

523,000

Housing Benefit

1,164,000

Industrial Injuries benefits

150,000

Pension Credit

1,480,000

Personal Independence Payment

306,000

State Pension

12,379,000

Severe Disablement Allowance

15,000

Winter Fuel Payments

11,205,000

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Pension Protection Fund’s rescue of the employee pension schemes operated by Bernard Matthews Limited has resulted in loss of any pension rights of the members of those schemes.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is a scheme, set up by the Labour government and continued by all successive governments, that pays compensation to members of eligible Defined Benefit pension schemes, whose sponsoring employer has become insolvent and where there are insufficient funds in the scheme to secure benefits at or above the level of PPF compensation. It was never intended to replicate in full the pension rights of schemes that, as a result of their employer’s insolvency, do not have sufficient assets to secure the pension benefits initially promised to their members. The usage of the PPF, when the Bernard Matthews Pension Fund transferred to the PPF did not result in any capping of members benefits.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce legislation under which anyone on Universal Credit or other social security benefits would be entitled to a free broadband subscription.

There are no plans to introduce legislation on this issue.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is (1) the number, and (2) the value, of Defined Benefit Pension Schemes rescued by the Pension Protection Fund after a pre-pack administration.

This data is not readily available and so has been collated manually by the Pension Protection Fund for the last three years. From January 2020 to October 2020, the defined benefit pension schemes of 13 companies have undergone a pre-pack administration through the Pension Protection Fund. The aggregate value of the Section 75 debts of these pension schemes amounts to £196 million. Section 75 debt corresponds to the amount needed to secure a buyout for scheme members to receive their full benefits and provides a picture of the liability taken on by the Pension Protection Fund.

Baroness Stedman-Scott
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to investigate Unispace Global Limited for potentially failing to report the income resulting from the personal protection equipment contracts recorded in the Government’s financial statements for the year to 31 December 2020 and filed at Companies House on 30 September 2021.

Investigations called for are outside the remit of the Department. Matters concerning the accuracy of filed financial accounts are a matter for Companies House.

Lord Kamall
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what resources they provide for defending each of the (1) Crown Dependencies, and (2) British Overseas Territories; and what is the total cost of such resources.

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 Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the announcement of an independent inquiry into the governance of the British Virgin Islands, what plans they have (1) to support the expansion of its terms of reference to include, and (2) to support any consideration of, the Islands' role in global tax avoidance and money laundering as part of the inquiry.

The Commission of Inquiry was established by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to investigate specific allegations where such an investigation would be in the interests of public welfare in the BVI. The Governor set the Terms of Reference as:

  • to establish whether there is information that corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty in relation to officials, whether statutory, elected or public may have taken place in recent years;
  • if there is such information, to consider the conditions which allowed that corruption, abuse of office or other serious dishonesty to take place and whether they may still exist;
  • if appropriate, to make independent recommendations with a view to improving the standards of governance, to give the people of the Virgin Islands confidence that government is working in a fair, transparent and proper manner;
  • if appropriate, to make independent recommendations with a view to improving the operation of the agencies of law enforcement and justice;
  • should the Commissioner at any time consider that a change to these terms of reference would be beneficial to public welfare in achieving the objectives of the Inquiry, to inform the then Governor of the Virgin Islands at the first opportunity; and
  • to prepare and submit a written report to the then Governor of the Virgin Islands within six (6) months from the commencement of the Inquiry, making all such recommendations as seem fit provided that the Governor may extend the period for submission of the report to a period no longer than 9 months from the date of the Inquiry.

It will be for the Commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom, to determine how best to carry out these Terms.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to investigate the affairs of “God Bless: Help Earth, Help Universe, Alien Space Works, Organization Für Anthropologie Und Kultivierung & Nelleh Limited”, a company whose business is the “Manufacture of air and spacecraft and related machinery” and “Banks”; and whether they will provide the date on which it was authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to offer banking services.

‘God Bless: Help Earth, Help Universe, Alien Space Works, Organization Für Anthropologie Und Kultivierung & Nelleh Limited’ is not authorised by the FCA and is not listed on the FCA register.

Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services it does not have investigative or prosecuting powers of its own and is not able to intervene in individual cases.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
10th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many taxpayers paid tax on dividends at the rate of (1) 7.5 per cent, (2) 32.5 per cent, and (3) 38.1 per cent, in the last year for which figures were available; and what was the amount paid by each category of taxpayer.

From current estimates, in the tax year 2021-22 there were 1,440,000 taxpayers who paid tax on dividends at the rate of 7.5 per cent with the total liabilities at this rate equalling £2 billion. There were 615,000 taxpayers who paid tax on dividends at the rate of 32.5 per cent with total liabilities at this rate equalling £4.89 billion. There were 135,000 taxpayers who paid tax on dividends at the rate of 38.1 per cent with the total liabilities at this rate equalling £5.25 billion.

The estimates for the number of individuals are based on the tax rate at which the last pound of dividend income is taxed. Some individuals may also have dividend income taxed at different rates. For liabilities, this has been totalled at the rate at which the tax was paid.

These estimates are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes and projected forward in line with the Autumn Budget forecast.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what date Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro Spa Ltd, registered at Companies House on 29 November 2021, was authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); and whether FCA approval was sought before the registration of the company.

Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro Spa Ltd is not authorised by the FCA, and not listed on the FCA register. There was an entity with the same name which was an EEA based firm that had permissions to passport into the UK until March 2008.

In September 2020 the Government announced reforms to Companies House.  These constitute the most significant changes to the role and powers of Companies House since its creation in 1844.

In February 2022 the Government published a white paper detailing the way the reforms will operate to strengthen and safeguard the UK’s business environment by tackling economic crime and supporting our national security, whilst delivering a more reliable companies register to underpin business activity.

More broadly, the Government takes issues of fraud very seriously. We continue to work closely with industry to close down the vulnerabilities that fraudsters exploit. Companies House already supports law enforcement on hundreds of cases each month.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, what assessment they have made of the report in The Financial Times on 2 March that staff at Credit Suisse had asked investors to destroy documents to prevent leaks regarding loans made to people who were later sanctioned; and what steps, if any, have they taken to prevent the UK operations of Credit Suisse from destroying such documents.

Questions relating to individual firms’ compliance with regulatory requirements, including those relating to record keeping, are matters for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA is operationally independent from the Government. These questions have therefore been passed to the FCA who will respond directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

All breaches and suspected breach of sanctions must also be reported to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) in HM Treasury as the competent authority for financial sanctions in the UK.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the US Department of Justice’s fine of $35 million on NatWest Markets Plc for “spoofing” on 21 December 2021, what plans they have to investigate the prevalence of similar practices in the UK.

‘Spoofing’ is the practice of placing orders in financial markets with the intention of cancelling said orders and attempting to profit from any resulting price changes. It is prohibited under the UK Market Abuse Regulation, as it gives false or misleading signals as to the supply or demand of a financial instrument.

In the UK, the FCA is responsible for identifying and preventing market abuse, and taking enforcement action against persons committing market abuse where appropriate. The FCA actively monitors UK markets for potential market manipulation, and any investigation into that activity would be conducted by the regulator. UK trading venues and persons professionally arranging or executing transactions who are located in the UK are required to have arrangements in place to monitor, detect, and report such market manipulation to the FCA.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the court judgment in R (The Financial Conduct Authority) V National Westminster Bank Plc on 13 December 2021, what plans they have to introduce legislation to enable clawback of remuneration from directors of entities found guilty of money laundering.

The Government does not intend to introduce legislation to enable claw back of remuneration from directors of entities found guilty of money laundering. This is because the UK financial services regulators – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) – jointly set requirements for firms, including National Westminster Bank Plc, regarding the claw back of promised, or paid, remuneration.

Under these requirements, where misconduct or material poor performance occurs - including for anti-money laundering controls failings - firms would need to consider whether promised or paid remuneration can be justified, or should be returned (“clawed back”) for senior and materially risk-taking staff. The regulators have supervisory and enforcement tools to deploy in cases where they are not satisfied that a firm has complied with their rules.

The FCA’s successful prosecution of NatWest Plc in 2021 represents the first criminal prosecution brought by the FCA against a bank under the Money Laundering Regulations, and demonstrates the FCA’s commitment to using the full range of powers available to tackle anti-money laundering failings.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
10th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Bank of England regarding the reversal of its quantitative easing programme

Monetary policy is the responsibility of the independent Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England and this includes decisions on quantitative easing.

As set out in the letter exchange between the Chancellor and Governor on 3 February 2022, the Government indemnifies the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility, the vehicle that delivers quantitative easing. As part of this, there are oversight arrangements in place, including regular risk oversight meetings between Treasury and Bank senior officials which monitor the scheme’s implementation and risks to the Exchequer.

The Governor set out in his letter exchange with the Chancellor that, were asset sales judged to be appropriate, the Bank would liaise with the DMO in order to minimise interference with the DMO's own issuance programme, and would consider the views of market participants as to how best to minimise disruption in private asset markets.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish a table showing the number of promoters of disguised remuneration schemes who have been prosecuted; and the outcomes of such prosecutions.

Promotion or operation of mass marketed tax avoidance schemes is not in and of itself a criminal offence. However, there are a range of offences which might be committed by those who promote tax avoidance schemes or advise on their use.

On that basis, one individual involved in the promotion of Disguised Remuneration (DR) schemes has been prosecuted. They received a sentence of two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 300 hours of “unpaid work”.

A number of individuals are currently under criminal investigation by HMRC for offences linked to DR Schemes.

In addition, since 1 April 2016, more than 20 individuals have been convicted for offences relating to arrangements which have been promoted and marketed as tax avoidance. These have resulted in over 100 years of custodial sentences. The majority of these convictions relate to promoters.

The Government and HMRC are committed to tackling promoters and operators of tax avoidance schemes. This includes challenging the entities and individuals who promote DR loan schemes.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to make the facilitation of tax avoidance a crime.

HMRC has a range of criminal and civil powers available to it to tackle those who try to cheat the tax system and will continue to use its anti-avoidance regimes to challenge the entities and individuals who facilitate avoidance schemes. These regimes include Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes, Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes, and the Enablers regimes, which impose significant penalties on promoters if they refuse to comply with various conditions.

There are also a range of possible criminal offences, such as cheating the public revenue, fraudulent evasion of Income Tax or VAT, or the general offence of fraud. Where the behaviour of avoidance promoters strays into these offences, they will be considered for criminal investigation.

Since April 2016, more than 20 individuals have been convicted for offences relating to arrangements promoted and marketed as tax avoidance schemes. The courts ordered over 100 years of custodial sentences. The majority of these individuals were promoters.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
7th Feb 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effect the increase in the energy price cap will have on the (1) Retail Price Index, and (2) Consumer Price Index.

In its February Monetary Policy Report (MPR), the Bank of England set out its view of the likely impact of the cap increase, using information available just prior to Ofgem’s cap announcement, and prior to the announcement of the Government support packages. The Bank’s February 2022 MPR can be found on the Bank of England website.

The Office for Budget Responsibility will update its view of the outlook for CPI and RPI inflation in its spring 2022 forecast on 23 March.

The Government recognises that many households will need support to help deal with the rising cost of energy prices. Global supply chain disruptions and higher energy prices both represent challenges that are driving higher inflation. These are global problems which we are working with our international partners on, and we are supporting households with the cost of living, providing support worth around £12bn this financial year and next alongside an announced £9.1bn package to help households with rising energy bills in 2022-23.

Baroness Penn
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
18th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report HMRC responses to inaccurate claims, published on 12 January, what is the methodology for estimating the amount lost to fraud and error; what is the value of these claims; and what is the forecasted expenditure for such claims, for (1) the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (2) the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme phases 1 to 3, and (3) the Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

The Government introduced unprecedented COVID support, helping millions of people across the UK. The schemes were designed to protect against Error and Fraud (E&F) by only making grants to individuals and businesses matched to information already on HMRC systems wherever possible, preventing ineligible claims, blocking suspicious claims up front, and investing in post-scheme compliance.

The latest E&F estimates and expenditure across the COVID-19 support schemes are included in HMRC’s 2021 Annual Report and Accounts, released on 4 November 2021, which can be found on the gov.uk website.

HMRC has published a technical document alongside the Annual Report and Accounts 2020 to 2021 detailing the methodology for measuring E&F in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) phases 1 to 3, and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme (EOHO). This can be found on the gov.uk website.

HMRC aim to produce updated E&F estimates for CJRS and SEISS by Summer 2022.

HMRC are taking tough action to tackle fraudulent behaviour. Anyone who keeps money despite knowing they were not entitled to it, faces repaying up to double the amount, plus interest, and potentially criminal prosecution in serious cases.

HMRC established the Taxpayer Protection Taskforce and is estimated to recover approximately £800 million to £1 billion in the two years to 2022-23, on top of around £500 million recovered in the year 2020-21. HMRC will continue to address fraud and error in the schemes beyond the duration of the taskforce.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the European Commission’s €344 million fine on UBS, Barclays, RBS, HSBC and Credit Suisse on 2 December for operating a foreign exchange cartel, what plans they have to appoint an independent inquiry into the operations of the UK arms of these banks.

The UK’s independent financial services regulator, the FCA, investigated misconduct in the foreign exchange markets and fined six firms (Citibank, HSBC, JP Morgan, RBS, UBS, and Barclays) a total of £1.4 billion in 2014 and 2015 for failures of systems to control trading practices.

Alongside this, the European Commission opened a competition investigation in 2013, into the same issue, including covering any harm within the UK. In accordance with the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, the EU has continued to be responsible for the case, because it was initiated before the end of the transition period. The EU shall reimburse the UK for its share of the amount of the fine once the fine has become definitive.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in (1) investigating, and (2) prosecuting, allegations of banks forging customers’ signatures.

The Government expects all companies to obey the law and relevant regulations. Anyone with evidence of such forgery taking place should report it to their bank in the first instance. If their concerns remain, or they do not have a direct relationship with the lender, they should report it to the relevant authorities.

Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services it does not have investigative or prosecuting powers of its own and is not able to intervene in individual cases. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires all authorised firms to have systems and controls in place to mitigate the risk that they be used to commit financial crime. Whilst the police have primary responsibility for investigating fraud the FCA also has powers to take a variety of enforcement action against firms that carry out fraudulent activity.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is continuing to assess the material submitted by the Bank Signature Forgery Campaign and information obtained following preliminary enquiries to clarify matters with certain members of the public who had raised the issue. The NCA is making a thorough assessment to determine whether there are grounds for a criminal or regulatory investigation.

9th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what powers they have to examine the operations of the Business Banking Resolution Service.

The Business Banking Resolution Service (BBRS), which launched on 15 February 2021, offers a free, independent service designed to settle unresolved and new complaints that are not eligible for the FOS. The Government has always been clear that it welcomes the BBRS. However, it is an independent non-governmental body, and this independence is vital to its role. Its credibility, authority and value to SMEs would be undermined if it were possible for the Government to intervene in its decision-making or operational matters.
8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to exercise their statutory powers to examine the takeover of Liverpool Victoria insurance company.

The assessment and approval of the proposed sale and demutualisation of LV= (previously Liverpool Victoria) is an ongoing and independent process, overseen and scrutinised by the financial services regulators, and subject to approval by the Courts. It would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in this independent process.

The regulators’ supervision of the sale includes an assessment of the fairness of the transaction, the impact on policyholders and competition in the interests of consumers, and the quality of communications with members of LV=.

The Court processes involve a number of safeguards which are designed to ensure that policyholders are kept informed and their interests protected.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional revenues could be raised by aligning Dividend Tax rates with Income Tax rates applied to earned income.

Increasing the current rates of dividend tax to the current headline rates of income tax could theoretically raise around £8 billion a year, based on the 2021-22 tax rates. In practice, significantly less would be raised due to behavioural responses to any increases.

The Government has committed to increase rates of dividend tax by 1.25 percentage points, which is expected to raise £900 million a year by the end of the scorecard, accounting for behavioural responses. The higher rates of dividend tax from 2022-23 would therefore reduce the additional revenue that would be raised from increasing dividend rates to the rates of income tax.

The Government will continue to keep the tax system under constant review to ensure it is simple and efficient.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what additional revenues could be raised by aligning Capital Gains Tax rates with Income Tax rates applied to earned income.

Last year, the Chancellor commissioned the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to carry out a review of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Their first report contains revenue estimates of the static impact of aligning CGT rates with those of Income Tax and can be found on the gov.uk website.

It was estimated that aligning CGT with Income Tax rates could have theoretically raised £14 billion in 2018-19 but, in practice, significantly less would be raised due to behavioural responses. The Government will respond to the OTS report in due course.

The Government will continue to keep the tax system under constant review to ensure it is simple and efficient.

8th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Bank of England about reversing quantitative easing; and what assessment have they made of its effects on public finances.

Monetary policy is the responsibility of the independent Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England and this includes decisions on quantitative easing. The Government does not comment on the conduct or effectiveness of monetary policy.

As set out in the letter exchange between the Chancellor and Governor on 5 November 2020, the Government indemnifies the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility, the vehicle that delivers quantitative easing. As part of this, there are oversight arrangements in place, including regular risk oversight meetings between Treasury and Bank senior officials which monitor the scheme’s implementation and risks to the Exchequer.

The Office of Budget Responsibility’s Economic and Fiscal Outlook, published on 27 October 2021, sets out the fiscal impacts of the Asset Purchase Facility including the effects of a potential unwind of quantitative easing over the forecast period.

21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much it would cost to raise the national insurance contributions threshold to an annual income of £12,570.

Estimates of various policy changes can be approximated using the ‘Direct effects of illustrative tax changes’ publication which can be found on gov.uk.

This includes the costs of increasing National Insurance contributions (NIC) thresholds for the employee entry threshold by £2 per week and lower profit limits by £104 per year.

This can be used to scale the proportionate costs using the projected NIC threshold in 2022-23, which at the time of publication was £9,724, and increasing it by £2,846 to £12,570 in that year.

Published estimates are based on the 2017-18 Survey of Personal Incomes, which are projected using economic assumptions consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility’s March 2021 economic and fiscal outlook.

20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact of the administration of (1) Greensill Capital (UK) Limited, and (2) Greensill Capital Management Company (UK) Limited, on entities regulated and authorised by the (a) Financial Conduct Authority, and (b) 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.

The impact of a specific business failure on authorised and regulated entities in the UK is a matter for our independent financial authorities, the PRA and the FCA. Although HM Treasury does not comment on supervisory matters, we continuously monitor risks across the financial sector and respond where appropriate in coordination with the independent financial authorities – the FCA, PRA and Bank of England – as well as relevant government departments.

20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact of the collapse of Archegos Capital Management on regulated and authorised entities by the (1) Financial Conduct Authority, and (2) 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.

The impact of a specific business failure on authorised and regulated entities in the UK is a matter for our independent financial authorities, the PRA and the FCA. Although HM Treasury does not comment on supervisory matters, we continuously monitor risks across the financial sector and respond where appropriate in coordination with the independent financial authorities – the FCA, PRA and Bank of England – as well as relevant government departments.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the Prudential Regulation authority carried out capital adequacy tests on Kuflink Ltd and related entities; and what was the outcome of those tests.

As you may be aware, Kufflink Ltd is not a regulated deposit taking firm, i.e. a bank, and hence are not regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Peer to peer firms are instead regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which in this instance extends to rules regarding capital requirements.

The FCA is an independent non-governmental body responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry. Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services, it has strictly limited powers in relation to the FCA. In particular, the Treasury has no general power of direction over the FCA and therefore it is not appropriate to request information regarding capital adequacy tests of individual firms.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what dates the tripartite meetings between the Financial Conduct Authority, directors of Kuflink Ltd and related entities, and their auditors took place; and what was discussed at each such meeting.

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.
28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact of the collapse of Archegos Capital Management upon entities (1) regulated, and (2) authorised, by the (a) Financial Conduct Authority, and (b) Prudential Regulation Authority.

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.

28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact of the administration of (1) Greensill Capital (UK) Limited, and (2) Greensill Capital Management Company (UK) Limited, upon entities regulated and authorised by the (a) Financial Conduct Authority, and (b) Prudential Regulation Authority.

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.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government on what dates capital adequacy and stress tests were carried out on Greensill Capital; and what the outcome was of those checks.

Greensill Capital (UK) Limited was not authorised by the FCA. It was a registered entity under the Money Laundering Regulations, which means that the FCA supervised it but 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 Capital (UK) Limited or any member of their group.

Given Greensill Capital was not authorised by the Bank of England or the FCA no capital adequacy or stress tests were required or carried out.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the tax tribunal judgment in Odey Asset Management LLP and others v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 31 (TC), what penalties have been levied upon Ogier Trustee (Jersey) Limited.

The administration of the tax system is a matter for HM Revenue and Customs.  It would not be appropriate for Treasury ministers to become involved in the administration of the tax system in specific cases.

22nd Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what record they have of (1) letters, (2) emails, (3) phone calls, (4) text messages, and (5) other communications, from former Prime Minister David Cameron to officials in (a) the Treasury, and (b) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in connection with 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.

19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what records they have of (1) the dates of meetings between the Financial Conduct Authority, the directors of Greensill Capital, and that company’s auditors, and (2) the details of matters discussed at any such meetings.

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.
17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to establish an independent inquiry into the handling by the Financial Conduct Authority of the alleged frauds at (1) Royal Bank of Scotland, and (2) Halifax Bank of Scotland.

As you are aware, the FCA is an independent non-governmental body responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry. Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services, it has strictly limited powers in relation to the FCA. In particular, the Treasury has no general power of direction over the FCA and cannot intervene in individual cases.

Given the matters raised are the responsibility of the FCA, in view of its independence, it is not for the Government to provide direction.

However, as you may be aware, in the case of HBOS, Dame Linda Dobbs has been appointed as an independent legal expert to consider whether issues in the HBOS Reading Fraud were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities at the time by Lloyds Banking Group. At present the Dobbs review is ongoing and once completed, its findings will be shared with the FCA.

On Royal Bank of Scotland and GRG, the FCA has concluded their final investigation, which reaffirms the outcome of its enforcement investigation, which was announced in July 2018.

Finally, there are currently no plans for the Government to establish an independent review of the conduct of the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to the RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.

17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any department has given directions to the Financial Conduct Authority in connection with its investigation of the alleged frauds identified in the 2013 'Project Lord Turnbull Report' at (1) Halifax Bank of Scotland, and (2) Royal Bank of Scotland.

As you are aware, the FCA is an independent non-governmental body responsible for regulating and supervising the financial services industry. Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services, it has strictly limited powers in relation to the FCA. In particular, the Treasury has no general power of direction over the FCA and cannot intervene in individual cases.

Given the matters raised are the responsibility of the FCA, in view of its independence, it is not for the Government to provide direction.

However, as you may be aware, in the case of HBOS, Dame Linda Dobbs has been appointed as an independent legal expert to consider whether issues in the HBOS Reading Fraud were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities at the time by Lloyds Banking Group. At present the Dobbs review is ongoing and once completed, its findings will be shared with the FCA.

On Royal Bank of Scotland and GRG, the FCA has concluded their final investigation, which reaffirms the outcome of its enforcement investigation, which was announced in July 2018.

Finally, there are currently no plans for the Government to establish an independent review of the conduct of the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to the RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.

17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the penalties levied on accounting firms for designing and marketing unlawful tax avoidance schemes.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot comment on individual cases. HMRC will investigate allegations of wrongdoing brought to their attention.

The Government is determined to tackle promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes and in March 2020, HMRC published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes. The strategy outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust actions against promoters and enablers of tax avoidance.

Finance Bill 2021 includes new measures which will strengthen the existing anti-avoidance regimes and help HMRC act more swiftly against promoters. The Government has also announced a further package of measures to ensure promoters face stronger sanctions more quickly; the consultation was published on 23 March.

These proposals build on the enablers of defeated tax avoidance legislation that was introduced in 2017 and include provision for the publication of information, including the name of the enabler and the total number and amount of penalties incurred by the enabler, if they have been charged 50 or more penalties or £25,000 in penalties in any one year.

17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the judgment by the Court of Appeal in the case of GDF Suez Teesside Led v Revenue And Customs [2018] EWCA Civ 2075 on 5 October 2018, what action they have taken, if any, against Ernst & Young for designing and marketing an unlawful tax avoidance scheme.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cannot comment on individual cases. HMRC will investigate allegations of wrongdoing brought to their attention.

The Government is determined to tackle promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes and in March 2020, HMRC published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes. The strategy outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust actions against promoters and enablers of tax avoidance.

Finance Bill 2021 includes new measures which will strengthen the existing anti-avoidance regimes and help HMRC act more swiftly against promoters. The Government has also announced a further package of measures to ensure promoters face stronger sanctions more quickly; the consultation was published on 23 March.

These proposals build on the enablers of defeated tax avoidance legislation that was introduced in 2017 and include provision for the publication of information, including the name of the enabler and the total number and amount of penalties incurred by the enabler, if they have been charged 50 or more penalties or £25,000 in penalties in any one year.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the fine issued by the US Department of Justice to Goldman Sachs for its role in a conspiracy to bribe high-ranking foreign officials to obtain business, what discussions they have had with financial regulators in the UK about investigating Goldman Sachs for any similar practices in the UK.

The Financial Conduct Authority is the regulator responsible for supervising the conduct of financial institutions operating in the UK and is independent from the UK government.

The Treasury discusses a wide variety of issues with the FCA regularly. However, the Treasury has no general power of direction over the FCA and any enforcement decisions by the FCA are independent of government.
2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) bodies, and (2) individuals, have been prosecuted each year under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 for failure to prevent tax evasion; and what outcome was secured in each such case.

HMRC currently have thirteen live Corporate Criminal Offence (CCO) investigations with a further seventeen possible investigations under review. HMRC update these figures bi-annually on GOV.UK.

No corporate bodies have yet been prosecuted under the CCO for the failure to prevent the facilitation of UK tax evasion. This is because these investigations are extremely complex and take considerable time before they are ready to be passed to a prosecutor.

The CCO was implemented on 30 September 2017, which means HMRC are only able to consider potential investigations from that date. The offence applies solely to corporate bodies.

Individuals are prosecuted under pre-existing legislation that deals with tax evasion and the facilitation of tax evasion. Since April 2017, HMRC have prosecuted 60 facilitators of tax evasion. These cover a range of professional services and apply to different taxes and duties.

The CCO legislation was not brought in to simply increase the number of corporate prosecutions but to change long standing industry practices and reduce the opportunity for the facilitation of tax evasion to occur. There are positive signs of this happening with many organisations putting in place reasonable preventative procedures.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many transfer pricing specialists are employed by HMRC for dealing with the tax practices of multinational corporations.

In 2019 to 2020 there were 456 (441 in 2018 to 2019) full-time equivalent staff working on international issues involving Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) including transfer pricing, diverted profits tax, Controlled Foreign Companies (CFCs) and cross border debt.

This figure includes time spent on international issues by dedicated international specialists, Corporation Tax specialists and policy and technical advisers.

These staff work with other expert industry and tax specialists to tackle issues that represent a substantial risk of tax loss to the Exchequer in line with HMRC’s “resource to risk” compliance policy.

HMRC have invested significant time in training staff to deal with international issues, including transfer pricing.

21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many penalty notices for late filing of company tax returns have been issued in accordance with each subsection of paragraphs 17 and 18 of Schedule 18 of the Finance Act 1998 for each of the last five years.

Information in the form requested is not readily available and could only be compiled at disproportionate cost.

21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many proceedings for insolvency have been initiated by HMRC for failure to pay taxes when they were due.

Routine insolvency action has been paused by HMRC since the first lockdown in March 2020.

The figures below are for the 2020 calendar year relating to proceedings for insolvency which have been initiated by HMRC for failure to pay taxes when they were due:

Bankruptcy/Sequestration

January – March 2020 409

April – June 2020 0

July – September 2020 0

October – December 2020 0

Companies Winding Up/Liquidation

January – March 2020 1108

April – June 2020 9

July – September 2020 1

October – December 2020 1

These figures cover England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Company Voluntary Arrangements for financially distressed businesses were approved by HMRC in each of the last five years.

HMRC only hold information on approved Creditor Voluntary Arrangements for the last three years, as follows:

2018: 118

2019: 142

2020: 118

21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion and value of UK Government bonds are held by the Bank of England.

At 31 December 2020 in nominal values, the Bank of England’s Asset Purchase Facility Fund held £625bn gilts, while a further £11bn of gilts were held in the Bank of England’s Sterling Bond Portfolio. Combined these represent 32.8% of the value of outstanding Government bonds, or 42.8% of outstanding conventional Government bonds.

21st Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals have an annual income of less than the £12,500 Personal Tax Allowance.

The estimated number of individuals who have an annual income of less than the £12,500 Personal Tax Allowance in the 2019-20 tax year is 18.4 million.

Note:

  1. Taxpayer numbers are shown to three significant figures

  2. Figures provided are estimates for the 2019-20 tax year, when the Personal Tax Allowance reached £12,500.

  1. The figures for 2019-20 are based on outturn data derived from the 2017-18 Survey of Personal Incomes (SPI) and projected using economic assumptions consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility’s March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

This estimate is based on the Survey of Personal Incomes which represents a sample of individuals in contact with HMRC. However, HMRC do not hold information for all people with personal incomes below the income tax threshold. Further details are set out alongside the Income Tax Liabilities Statistics.

20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to legislate to authorise the Prudential Regulation Authority to carry out stress tests on the adequacy of capital at (1) hedge funds, and (2) private equity firms.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) was established as the prudential regulator of firms which manage significant risk on their own balance sheet as a core part of their business and regulates and supervises banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and systemic investment firms in the UK. This does not include any hedge funds or private equity firms, although such businesses may fall into scope of the PRA’s regulatory activity to the extent that they are part of wider banking or insurance groups. The Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for the regulation of other financial services firms not supervised by the PRA, including non-systemic investment firms.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) acts as the UK’s macro-prudential authority, tasked with identifying, monitoring and addressing emerging risks and vulnerabilities across the financial system. In its August 2020 Financial Stability Report, the FPC identified the need for further work domestically and internationally to review the resilience of investors and markets under stress, including leveraged investors. The relevant UK authorities are working with their international partners at the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to assess the role of leveraged investors in core funding markets, as set out in the FSB’s November 2020 Holistic Review of the March Market Turmoil.[1]

These institutional arrangements strike the right balance in securing a resilient and stable financial system and maintaining the UK's position as a leading financial centre for hedge fund and private equity investment - providing high quality jobs and capital investment to support businesses. The Government does not currently have plans to change these arrangements.

[1] https://www.fsb.org/wp-content/uploads/P171120-2.pdf

20th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals who are enrolled on an approved pension scheme do not receive tax relief on their contributions.

HMRC estimates that 1.3m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2017-18 made workplace pension contributions via Real Time Information (RTI) using relief at source arrangements. The personal allowance in 2017-18 was £11,500.

HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates. The 2017-18 SPI data (published in March 2020) is the latest year available.

14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the (1) fees, and (2) costs, which have been paid to each member of the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) Panel.

The General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) Advisory Panel is an independent body led by a Chair, appointed through an open recruitment process in line with Cabinet Office guidance. Members of the panel are appointed by the Commissioners of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), advised by the Chair of the panel. There are no plans to introduce new legislation.

The Chair and other panel members do not receive remuneration, but HMRC reimburse expenses reasonably incurred by them in carrying out their duties. It is not possible for HMRC to provide details of expenses reimbursed to each member of the panel due to HMRC’s duty of confidentiality.

14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Supreme Court judgment in Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Appellant) v Pendragon plc and others (Respondents) [2015] UKSC 37, whether they have (1) investigated, (2) fined, or (3) prosecuted, KPMG for designing and marketing the tax avoidance scheme.

HMRC cannot comment on individual cases, but will investigate any allegations of wrongdoing brought to their attention.

The Government and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are determined to continue to tackle promoters and enablers of tax avoidance schemes. In March 2020, HMRC published on GOV.UK their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes. The strategy sets out HMRC’s work to date and outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust actions against promoters and enablers of tax avoidance.

HMRC publish the standards they expect agents to adhere to and monitor these standards. HMRC have several powers to address poor agent practice in instances where the standard for agents is breached.

14th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to introduce legislation under which partners of law and accounting firms judged by the courts to have sold unlawful tax avoidance schemes would not be permitted to become members of the General Anti-Abuse Rule Panel and advise HM Revenues and Customs.

The General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) Advisory Panel is an independent body led by a Chair, appointed through an open recruitment process in line with Cabinet Office guidance. Members of the panel are appointed by the Commissioners of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), advised by the Chair of the panel. There are no plans to introduce new legislation.

The Chair and other panel members do not receive remuneration, but HMRC reimburse expenses reasonably incurred by them in carrying out their duties. It is not possible for HMRC to provide details of expenses reimbursed to each member of the panel due to HMRC’s duty of confidentiality.

8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial contributions they made during the transition period of the UK's departure from the EU; and what financial commitments they have made to the EU for future years.

As was set out in HM Treasury’s latest EU Finances Statement, the Government’s latest forecast of the total net cost of the financial settlement reached with the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement is £30.2 billion. Of this, £8.1 billion corresponds to payments made before the end of 2020, and £22.1 billion corresponds to payments to be made after that date.

The Government has also committed to making a financial contribution to fund its participation in certain EU programmes in the future under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The ultimate cost of this commitment will be determined by factors including the Gross Domestic Product of the UK and EU Member States, and finalised EU budgets for the programmes in question.

8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks to the economy of shadow banking.

Non-banks are a growing area of the global and UK financial system. While they help to diversify the provision of finance to the economy, they may also pose risks. Recognising this growth, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s 2019 Fiscal Risks Report assessed some of the risks of shadow banking.

The Chancellor requested in March 2020, as part of the remit letter to the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC), that the FPC publishes a detailed assessment of the oversight and mitigation of systemic risks from the non-bank sector.

The FPC published the preliminary findings of this assessment in the August 2020 Financial Stability Report. It highlighted that, as observed in the March 2020 ‘dash for cash’, some non-banks may be vulnerable to liquidity shocks. The report outlined further work to address these risks, both domestically and internationally. The FPC will follow this with a more detailed report in 2021 outlining gaps in, and potential measures that may be taken to increase, non-bank resilience.

Alongside this, HM Treasury and the financial regulators are working internationally at the G20’s Financial Stability Board (FSB) to understand and address the vulnerabilities of the non-bank sector. The FSB has recently published assessments of the risks from non-banks in the ‘Holistic Review of the March Market Turmoil’ (November 2020) and the ‘Global Monitoring Report on Non-Bank Financial Intermediation’ (December 2020).

8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many UK-registered companies have failed to submit corporation tax returns to HMRC in the last five years.

Information in the form requested is not readily available and could only be compiled at disproportionate cost.

8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have estimated how much additional tax revenue would be raised by abolishing the Capital Gains tax-free allowance; and if so, how much additional such revenue they estimate would be raised.

HMRC do not currently publish an estimate for the cost of the Capital Gains Tax Annual Exempt Amount (AEA)[1]. A reliable estimate could only be made available at disproportionate cost.

[1] The AEA appears in the “cost unavailable” table for the structural tax relief official statistics here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/minor-tax-expenditures-and-structural-reliefs

8th Jan 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many employers have been prosecuted for their failure to comply with regulations relating to the National Minimum Wage in each of the last five years; and what was the outcome of each such prosecution.

Everyone who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) should receive it.

HMRC enforce the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) in line with the law and policy set out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The majority of NMW cases are subject to civil (non-criminal) sanctions, which include penalties of up to 200% of the arrears, and public naming.

Prosecution does not guarantee payment of arrears to workers, can be lengthy, and is expensive for the taxpayer. HMRC therefore balance recovering NMW arrears for workers as quickly as possible with the robust enforcement of NMW and prosecution is generally reserved for the most serious cases that form part of a pattern of wider criminality and are referred to the Crown Prosecution Service who decide whether or not to prosecute.

HMRC have a strong enforcement record on the NMW and since 2010-11 have completed nearly 25,000 NMW investigations, identifying over £100 million in national minimum wage arrears for over 950,000 workers and levying more than £59 million in penalties.

The table below provides a breakdown of the number of employers prosecuted for breaches of National Minimum Wage legislation and the related outcome (fine imposed, costs imposed and compensation awarded) for each of the prosecutions in the last five (2015–2020) years.

Year

Number of prosecutions

Fine¹

Cost²

Compensation³

2015/2016

0

£0

£0

£0

2016/2017

4

1) £0 2) £500 3) £5,000 4) £14,000 or face possible 12-month jail term

1) £0 2) £0 3) £1,860 4) £2,000

1) £3,247 2) £0 3) £9,300 4) £4,403

2017/2018

1

£2,977

£633

£0

2018/2019

0

£0

£0

£0

2019/2020

1

£250

£0

£500

¹ Fine imposed by the court on the business.

² Court costs payable by the prosecuted individual.

³ Compensation is any sum as decided in the judgment, to be paid to the individual affected by the employer’s actions to cover any financial loss or damage the successful party has suffered.

25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 11 November (HL Deb, col 1123) whether they intend to provide details of the source and methodology for the statement that the finance industry contributes “£75 billion in tax receipts”.

Her Majesty’s Government has taken this data from the report published by TheCityUK on the 9th of April this year, entitled ‘Key facts about UK-based financial and related professional services 2020’[1]. This report states that in 2018/19, the UK Financial Services sector contributed an estimated £75.5 billion to the UK public finances, which comprised 10.5% of all UK tax receipts.

[1] ‘Key facts about UK-based financial and related professional services 2020’, TheCityUK, 7th April 2020

25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the names of the entities that have received financial support through the Job Retention Scheme for the period March to October; and what was the amount received by each such entity.

HMRC are not able to provide information on organisations that have received financial support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), owing to HMRC’s duty of confidentiality.

HMRC cannot publish identifying information that relates to their functions, which include the CJRS, unless there is an appropriate legal basis for publication. No such legal basis was in place for the CJRS prior to 12 November 2020 when the CJRS Direction of that date was signed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In line with the published direction, as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims, HMRC will publish information about employers who claim for periods starting on or after 1 December 2020. This will not cover employer details for use of the CJRS prior to December.

Although HMRC cannot specify organisations that have claimed under the CJRS, by midnight on 18 October £41,400,000,000 worth of claims had been made under the scheme.

25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the capital maintenance concepts they expect to be followed by UK banks when preparing their financial statements.

UK banks are subject to different and separate requirements in respect of solvency, capital maintenance and distribution.

The capital maintenance requirements stem from the Companies Act 2006, which apply to UK companies including companies that are banks. These require the determination of profits available for distribution, including for a public company, to be made by reference to the relevant accounts of a company. These accounts must be properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Act, with relevant accounting standards and with the overriding requirement that they must give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the company.

Separately, and, in addition, banks in the UK are subject to the Prudential Regulation Authority’s (PRA’s) prudential capital requirements. These require banks to maintain appropriate capital resources, both in terms of quantity and quality, taking into account the risks to which they are exposed. These use as inputs some numbers taken or derived from a bank’s accounts but are otherwise a framework separate from that governing a company’s accounts.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the number of (1) prosecutions, (2) convictions, and (3) fines, resulting from their investigations into the Panama papers.

To date, HMRC’s work on the Panama Papers has produced about £190 million in yield. Data from the Panama Papers has been fully brought into HMRC’s systems and the data continues to be used as part of their usual risking process.

HMRC regularly publish details of prosecutions, convictions and fines and will look to do the same in relation to their Panama Papers work when it is appropriate to do so.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken against PricewaterhouseCooper for any role played in implementing tax avoidance schemes exposed by the 'Luxembourg leaks'.

It is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to provide details of any action taken in connection with this or any named organisation, for reasons of taxpayer confidentiality.

Should any tax agent be found to be enabling or facilitating tax avoidance then HMRC will use the full range of tools available, which include strict financial penalties, criminal sanctions, and public interest disclosures.

HMRC have reviewed all the documents relating to 142 taxpayers who had documents relating to their tax affairs disclosed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which have been referred to as the ‘Luxembourg Leaks’.

This work did not reveal a single case of material information where either the detail of the transactions had not already been provided to HMRC, or when examined did any more than confirm HMRC’s understanding of particular arrangements that were already known to HMRC.

The Government has taken resolute action since 2010 to clamp down on tax non-compliance and unfair outcomes. It has targeted a broad range of bad practice in order to ensure that everyone, from individuals to large multinationals, is required to pay the right amount at the right time.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the number of (1) prosecutions, (2) convictions, and (3) fines, resulting from their investigations into tax avoidance schemes exposed by the 'Luxembourg leaks'.

It is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to provide details of any action taken in connection with this or any named organisation, for reasons of taxpayer confidentiality.

Should any tax agent be found to be enabling or facilitating tax avoidance then HMRC will use the full range of tools available, which include strict financial penalties, criminal sanctions, and public interest disclosures.

HMRC have reviewed all the documents relating to 142 taxpayers who had documents relating to their tax affairs disclosed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which have been referred to as the ‘Luxembourg Leaks’.

This work did not reveal a single case of material information where either the detail of the transactions had not already been provided to HMRC, or when examined did any more than confirm HMRC’s understanding of particular arrangements that were already known to HMRC.

The Government has taken resolute action since 2010 to clamp down on tax non-compliance and unfair outcomes. It has targeted a broad range of bad practice in order to ensure that everyone, from individuals to large multinationals, is required to pay the right amount at the right time.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the release of the unredacted report RBS Group's treatment of SME customers referred to the Global Restructuring Group by the Treasury Committee on 20 February 2018, how many directors and employees of the Royal Bank of Scotland have been (1) interviewed by the police, (2) charged, (3) convicted, (4) fined, and (5) banned from holding corporate directorships.

In June 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority released their final report regarding their investigative steps in relation to Royal Bank of Scotland, Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

The outcome of the report states that although GRG fell short of the high standards expected from their customers, the investigation by the FCA concluded that RBS did not treat their customers unfairly. However, in light of the findings, the FCA did provide RBS with clear recommendations to adhere to, which RBS have responded to with a series of actions they will undertake in order to address those concerns.

RBS rightly apologised for these mistakes, and set up a scheme to compensate victims. This scheme has, to date, paid out in excess of £150 million to complainants.

9th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of UK-registered companies that have the word “bank” in their name but do not have Part 4A permission under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to carry out regulated banking activities.

The estimates requested are not held by HM Treasury.

As you may know, a bank is defined as a UK institution that has permission under Part 4A of the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) (2000) to accept deposits and is a credit institution. Financial services, including banks, are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) which are independent non-governmental bodies, given statutory powers by the FSMA as amended by the Financial Services Act (2012) and financed entirely by the financial services industry.

Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services, it does not have investigative or prosecuting powers of its own. The Treasury has no general power of direction over the regulators and therefore cannot intervene in individual cases. You can find a list of FCA and PRA regulated firms on their websites at:

FCA: https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register

PRA: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/prudential-regulation/authorisations/which-firms-does-the-pra-regulate

The word ‘Bank’ is a sensitive word which requires approval of the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under section 55 of the Companies Act 2006 and The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business Names (Sensitive Words and Expressions) Regulations 2014. Companies House carries out this function on behalf of the Secretary of State. Anybody wishing to register a company name that includes the word ‘Bank’ must also first obtain a letter of non-objection from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as required by the Regulations. On receipt of the letter on non-objection, Companies House will register the name.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will (1) publish an unredacted version of the report by Lord Justice Bingham Inquiry into the Supervision of The Bank of Credit and Commerce International, published on 22 October 1992, and (2) provide a list of who has received a copy of the unredacted version of that report to date; and if not, why.

There are currently no plans to publish an unredacted version of the report by Lord Justice Bingham into the Supervision of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

19th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the report by the Office for Professional Body Anti Money Laundering Supervision Anti-Money Laundering Supervision by the Legal and Accountancy Professional Body Supervisors: Progress and themes from 2019, published in March, and the finding that "92 per cent of accountancy Professional Body Supervisors expressed concerns about taking robust action if this would damage their ability to attract or retain members", what plans they have to consolidate the number of anti-money laundering regulators.

Under the Money Laundering Regulations, the Treasury is responsible for appointing Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) supervisors. It seeks to ensure they deliver a robust and risk-based approach to supervision, applying dissuasive sanctioning powers when appropriate, while minimising unnecessary burdens on regulated firms.

In 2018, the government established the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) to oversee the 22 legal and accountancy Professional Body Supervisors (PBSs) and ensure a consistent standard of supervision. In addition, OPBAS has an overarching responsibility to strengthen the UK’s supervisory regime by facilitating increased information and intelligence sharing between PBSs, statutory AML supervisors and law enforcement.

The introduction of OPBAS reflects the findings of the government’s previous calls for information, which identified that the focus should be on the effectiveness of supervision, rather than the number of supervisors.[1]

As part of the Economic Crime Plan, OPBAS committed to working with the 22 PBSs to ensure they have appropriate plans in place to address the AML/CTF weakness identified in their supervisory assessments and summarised in their first annual report, including in relation to the separation of functions.

Since publication of the first report, all PBSs have taken steps to address the weaknesses identified and have proposed action plans in place. OPBAS’s second report noted significant improvement in the suitability, in principle, of governance arrangements for AML supervision. At the end of 2018, 44% of PBSs lacked clear accountability for supervisory activity. By the end of 2019, this was reduced to zero. OPBAS will continue to monitor PBSs progress against these and assess their effectiveness to deliver more consistent supervisory standards.

Where OPBAS has identified deficiencies in PBSs’ oversight arrangements or practices, they have taken robust action, including using powers of direction. OPBAS will continue to take such action when appropriate with PBSs to ensure consistent high standards of supervision are achieved.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/call-for-information-anti-money-laundering-supervisory-regime; https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/anti-money-laundering-supervisory-review

13th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the judgment in Travel Document Service & Anor v Revenue & Customs (Corporation tax – tax avoidance scheme) UKUT 45 (TCC) by the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) on 7 February 2017, whether they have (1) investigated, (2) fined, or (3) prosecuted, Deloitte for any role it had in unlawful tax avoidance schemes.

It is not possible for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to provide details of any action taken in connection with this organisation.

HMRC challenge scheme promoters and other enablers in the marketed avoidance supply chain in order to disrupt their business. On 19 March 2020, HMRC published their strategy for tackling promoters of mass-marketed tax avoidance schemes and those who facilitate the use of these schemes. The strategy sets out HMRC’s work to date and outlines how HMRC and Government will continue to take robust action against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK.

14th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether criminal charges relating to the Grenfell disaster have been brought; and if so, what were the outcomes of those cases.

The ongoing police investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire and any criminal charges relating to the disaster are a matter for the Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Metropolitan Police Service has announced that it will wait until the Inquiry has published its final report before deciding what evidence to submit to the Crown Prosecution Service, as they will take into account the evidence from the Inquiry.

Lord Greenhalgh
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to extradite Aflak Ahmad, who registered Aflak Travelling Abroad Ltd at Companies House on 21 December 2020; and whether any action has been taken against the provider of their London office address.

The decision to seek a person’s extradition is one taken by the UK’s prosecuting authorities and law enforcement agencies. As a long-standing matter of policy, we will neither confirm nor deny that an extradition request had been made until such time as an arrest had been made.

I can however confirm that Companies House has (as of 8 March) commenced action to strike the company from the register of companies. A notice has been published in the London Gazette.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Unexplained Wealth Orders have been issued against a Javier Clemente Engonga Avomo who, according to Companies House records, is director of The United States of America Corporation Ltd, The United States of Africa Corporation Ltd and World Corporate Organization Ltd, which have authorised share capitals of £1.8 trillion, £500 billion and £900 billion respectively.

We do not comment on individual cases.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 20 December 2021 (HL4745), whether they have monitored the progress made by the National Economic Crime Centre and the Financial Conduct Authority in their investigation of allegations of forgeries of customer signatures by banks.

Treasury ministers and officials engage with a number of organisations and stakeholders on a variety of policy issues.

The Government expects all companies to obey the law and relevant regulations. Anyone with evidence of forgery taking place should report it to their bank in the first instance. If their concerns remain, or they do not have a direct relationship with the lender, they should report it to the relevant authorities.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), supported by the FCA, is continuing to assess the material submitted by the Bank Signature Forgery Campaign and information obtained following preliminary enquiries to clarify matters with certain members of the public who had raised the issue. They are also making a thorough assessment to determine whether there are grounds for a criminal or regulatory investigation.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the National Crime Agency and the Financial Conduct Authority received the first complaints alleging that banks had forged customer signatures to repossess homes, businesses and other property.

The Government expects all companies to obey the law and relevant regulations. Anyone with evidence of such forgery taking place should report it to their bank in the first instance. If their concerns remain, or they do not have a direct relationship with the lender, they should report it to the relevant authorities.

Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services it does not have investigative or prosecuting powers of its own and is not able to intervene in individual cases. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires all authorised firms to have systems and controls in place to mitigate the risk that they be used to commit financial crime. Whilst the police have primary responsibility for investigating fraud the FCA also has powers to take a variety of enforcement action against firms that carry out fraudulent activity.

The chair of the Treasury Select Committee wrote to NCA Director General Lynne Owens on the issue of bank signature forgery in July 2019. The matter was assigned to the National Economic Crime Centre for consideration in September 2019.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) full-time, and (2) part-time, individuals are directly employed by the National Economic Crime Centre.

As at 30 September 2021, the figures for individuals directly employed by the National Economic Crime Centre are as follows:

  • Full Time Headcount: 233
  • Part Time Headcount: 29
Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the City of London Police Fraud unit has received any (1) sponsorship, or (2) funding, from Lloyds Banking Group.

City of London Police (CoLP) entered into a three-year funding agreement for a total of £1.5m with Lloyds Banking Group in 2019. This agreement has been used to fund initiatives across policing to reduce fraud and economic crime.

This is in line with the goals of the government’s joint public-private sector Economic Crime Plan that will cut economic crime, including fraud.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the National Economic Crime Centre of the National Crime Agency has received any (1) sponsorship, or (2) funding, from Lloyds Banking Group.

The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) has not received any sponsorship or funding from Lloyds Banking Group.

The NECC has one non-costing secondee from Lloyds. This is their third private sector secondee. All secondees complete a vetting process and sign a secondment agreement that includes restrictions on disclosure of National Crime Agency information.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what resources they provide for defending each of the (1) Crown Dependencies, and (2) British Overseas Territories; and what is the total cost of such resources.

Her Majesty's Government retains an independent ability to defend the UK but also the Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies including providing high readiness maritime, land and air assets to deter and respond to threats. As such, it is not possible to distinguish the individual resources and costs in defending the Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will publish the financial contributions made by (1) the Crown Dependencies, and (2) Overseas Territories, to the annual defence budget of the United Kingdom.

The annual defence budget is funded entirely from the Supply Estimates process.

Supply Estimates are the means by which the Government seeks Parliament's authority for its spending plans. The Estimates reflect the HM-Treasury budgetary control structure and where appropriate are net of certain types of income where this can be used to reduce the overall amount of resource required by the Department.

Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories do not provide a direct contribution to the annual defence budget of the United Kingdom.

Records show that there is a very small amount of income received during Financial Year 2020-21 that has been received from the Government of Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. This is for actual services supplied to those Governments for which the Ministry of Defence has sought reimbursement on a full cost recovery basis.

Baroness Goldie
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how many, and (2) which, regulatory bodies are responsible for the criminal prosecution of fraud; how many successful prosecutions for fraud have been secured as a result of actions taken by each of these bodies since 2010; and what penalties have been imposed following each of these prosecutions.

Due to the nature of fraud, it can be committed in a variety of ways against organisations and individuals.  As such, we do not hold a record of all regulators that may be involved with the criminal prosecution of fraud.  The Government set out its plans for tackling fraud in the joint public and private sector Economic Crime Plan (2019-22), which was published in July 2019. Further information, including a list of organisations involved in the development of it, can be found here: Economic Crime Plan, 2019 to 2022, accessible version - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The number of convictions involving pension scams is not centrally held in the court proceedings database as this specific offence is not separately identified in legislation. Identifying this offence separately would require a manual search of court records, incurring disproportionate costs.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions, convictions and outcomes for fraud offences, that will include pensions scams, amongst other offences.

The numbers of prosecutions, convictions and outcomes for fraud offences have been provided in the attached table. These figures were taken from the following published data tool:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987715/outcomes-by-offence-2020.xlsx

The Court Proceedings database does not include the responsible regulatory body bringing the prosecution.

20th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) convictions, and (2) criminal penalties, there were for pension scams in each year since 2010.

Due to the nature of fraud, it can be committed in a variety of ways against organisations and individuals.  As such, we do not hold a record of all regulators that may be involved with the criminal prosecution of fraud.  The Government set out its plans for tackling fraud in the joint public and private sector Economic Crime Plan (2019-22), which was published in July 2019. Further information, including a list of organisations involved in the development of it, can be found here: Economic Crime Plan, 2019 to 2022, accessible version - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The number of convictions involving pension scams is not centrally held in the court proceedings database as this specific offence is not separately identified in legislation. Identifying this offence separately would require a manual search of court records, incurring disproportionate costs.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions, convictions and outcomes for fraud offences, that will include pensions scams, amongst other offences.

The numbers of prosecutions, convictions and outcomes for fraud offences have been provided in the attached table. These figures were taken from the following published data tool:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987715/outcomes-by-offence-2020.xlsx

The Court Proceedings database does not include the responsible regulatory body bringing the prosecution.

28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) convictions have been secured, and (2) penalties awarded, for pension scams for each year since 2010.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Dissolution. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

28th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many, and which, regulatory bodies are responsible for the criminal prosecution of fraud; how many successful prosecutions for fraud have been secured by each of these bodies since 2010; and what penalties have been imposed following each, and any, such prosecutions.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Dissolution. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

19th Mar 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the BBC Four documentary Dark Secrets of a Trillion Dollar Island: Garenne, broadcast on 15 March, what assessment they have made of the government of Jersey’s handling of child abuse; and whether they will appoint an independent inquiry to investigate the handling of such abuse.

In December 2013 Jersey’s government appointed an independent inquiry to investigate allegations of the abuse of children in the island’s care system from 1945 to date. The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI) opened on 3 April 2014. Led by an independent panel of experts, the IJCI conducted a wide-ranging investigation into all aspects of child care and protection services in Jersey, closing on 3 July 2017 with the publication of the “Final Report of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry”.

The Inquiry’s Report made eight key recommendations for the future management of child care in Jersey, all of which were accepted by the government of Jersey. The Report also suggested that the IJCI should be invited, in 2019, to review Jersey’s progress against those recommendations. Jersey agreed; the review took place as scheduled with the follow-up report being published on 23 September 2019. It acknowledged Jersey’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of the ICJI and commended Jersey on its progress.

Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom. As a self-governing dependency of the Crown with autonomy in its domestic affairs, child care and protection matters in Jersey are the responsibility of the Jersey authorities. It would not therefore be appropriate for the UK to appoint an independent inquiry to investigate this matter.

25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prosecutions for interest rate rigging there have been under (1) the Criminal Justice Act 1993, and (2) the Financial Services Act 2012; and what was the outcome of each such prosecution.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions, convictions and sentences for offences committed under both the Financial Services Act 2012 and the Criminal Justice Act 1993, from 2013 to 2019, available in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code’ data tool, here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888344/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2019.xlsx

No defendants were prosecuted where the principal offence fell under the Financial Services Act 2012 between 2013 and 2019.

In this instance, all offences under the Criminal Justice Act 1993 are under one Home Office offence code, so cannot be disaggregated. Search ‘Detailed offence’ in the data tool linked above for ‘Insider dealing’.

12 individuals were prosecuted and 13 were sentenced under the Criminal Justice Act 1993, between 2013 and 2019. Defendants who appear before both magistrates’ and Crown courts may be convicted and sentenced for a different offence to that for which they are counted as having been originally prosecuted if the offence is changed on conviction. Sentence outcomes were 3 suspended sentences and 10 immediate custodial sentences.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
25th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many prosecutions for insider trading there have been under (1) the Criminal Justice Act 1993, and (2) the Financial Services Act 2012; and what was the outcome of each such prosecution.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions, convictions and sentences for offences committed under both the Financial Services Act 2012 and the Criminal Justice Act 1993, from 2013 to 2019, available in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code’ data tool, here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/888344/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2019.xlsx

No defendants were prosecuted where the principal offence fell under the Financial Services Act 2012 between 2013 and 2019.

In this instance, all offences under the Criminal Justice Act 1993 are under one Home Office offence code, so cannot be disaggregated. Search ‘Detailed offence’ in the data tool linked above for ‘Insider dealing’.

12 individuals were prosecuted and 13 were sentenced under the Criminal Justice Act 1993, between 2013 and 2019. Defendants who appear before both magistrates’ and Crown courts may be convicted and sentenced for a different offence to that for which they are counted as having been originally prosecuted if the offence is changed on conviction. Sentence outcomes were 3 suspended sentences and 10 immediate custodial sentences.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)