Ministers push back plans for controversial ‘call in’ powers
Ministers have delayed plans for the roll-out of controversial ‘call in’ powers over regulators in order to give Rishi Sunak more time to mull over the plans, a letter from the City minister has revealed.
Ministers have been pressing ahead with plans to grant themselves the ability to overrule the City’s watchdogs and “make, amend or revoke rules” that they deem to be of “significant public interest”.
The plans have unsettled the City and drawn some backlash from regulatory chiefs, with Prudential Regulation Authority Chief Sam Woods saying it would leave create a system in which regulation “blew with the political wind”.
City minister Andrew Griffith has now written to the Treasury Select Committee however saying that in light of the appointment of the new prime minister and the need for the government to “consider all the detail carefully”, the government would not table the amendment at the current stage of the bill.
The Treasury is yet to outline the extent of the powers but Griffiths said in the letter they would “only ever be used in exceptional circumstances” and must be “accompanied by appropriate safeguards”.
Plans for call-in powers have drawn backlash from some quarters. Former head of FCA enforcement Matthew Nunan told City A.M. this week that “arbitrary or unduly political decisions” in financial regulation would “undermine what makes the UK a leader in financial services today.”