, , ,

Abena closes the Financial Services and Markets Bill Debate

On 7th September, as Shadow Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, I spoke in the House of Commons on the Financial Services and Markets Bill, making the closing arguments for the Opposition.

I broadly welcome this legislation. I am committed to helping the UK’s financial sector maintain its position as a competitive global financial centre. At the same time, this should not mean any compromise on financial stability or consumer protection post Brexit.

Speaking in the House, I argued that that everyone should have access to the financial services they need, whether that is saving schemes or insurance, and regardless of their income or circumstances. I made the point that all too often, the most vulnerable in our society are unable to afford or are denied access to financial products and services that meet their needs.

I made clear to the Government that if they are serious about building a strong future for our financial services outside the EU, they should recognise that the Bill is an opportunity to rethink how financial resilience, inclusion and wellbeing issues are tackled in the UK.

More widely, I am disappointed that the Bill does not do enough on financial exclusion. I believe we need to protect access to face-to-face banking services and address the extra costs that poorer people pay for essential services such as insurance or loans or credit cards.

As the Bill proceeds through Parliament, I will support efforts to push for bolder, more radical action in a number of areas including green finance, financial inclusion and economic crime. It is important that this legislation delivers not just for our financial services industry but for the wider economy as well.

You can read my speech here or watch the speech here.