A member of the House of Lords has tabled amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill calling for a new body to be established to oversee the City’s regulators, potentially reigniting debates about the so-called call-in power.
An amendment tabled by Lord Bridges called for the creation of an Office for Financial Regulatory Accountability, which could be similar to the Office for Budget Responsibility created by the government in 2010.
Bridges is a Conservative peer who serves as chair of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.
The office would “examine and report on the performance of the FCA and the PRA,” the amendment said, adding that the office must perform its duty “objectively, transparently and impartially”.
The amendment threatens to reignite debates about the so-called call-in power when the House of Lords starts debating the bill tomorrow.
The call-in power, which would have allowed Whitehall to overrule financial regulators, was dropped by the government over concerns that it would diminish the independence of regulators.
Speaking in Parliament last week, Andrew Bailey denied that they “traded” call-in powers for solvency II reforms.
While Bridges’ amendment would not give the government as much power as the call-in power, it would increase political oversight of regulatory bodies.
The proposed body would provide “independent and impartial analysis to Parliament” in order to hold regulators’ performance against their “statutory objectives and regulatory principles.”
The Treasury declined to comment.