Treasury Select Committee

Companies House reform 'timely'

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The Treasury Committee has published the government's response to its report in March on economic crime in which it called for new powers for Companies House and extra scrutiny of estate agents.

Nicky Morgan, the MP who chairs the Treasury Committee, said she was disappointed the government had not backed ideas to create a register of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

But, she said: "The recent announcement of a consultation into the reform of Companies House is timely, and the government should be ambitious in the new powers and resources that it proposes to provide to this vital component of the UK’s defence against economic crime.

“The government is currently assessing whether the power to block a stock market listing on national security grounds is necessary. The committee will follow the government’s conclusions on this closely".

'Every month will count'

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Nicky Morgan, the MP who chairs the Treasury Committee, has commented on the Financial Conduct Authority's plans to make life easier for mortgage prisoners - a reference to some 150,000 homeowners stuck on high interest-rate home loans.

She said that the "FCA’s rules apparently aren’t expected until towards the end of the year. For some families, this may be too late. Speed is of the essence in this case, and every month will count.

“This will not be a panacea for those ‘mortgage prisoners’ who are in arrears, or are regarded as ‘risky’ for other reasons. Some of those may have been pushed into arrears due to the high rates they pay. That may require more thought by government.

“Lending is a commercial decision so the FCA cannot force firms to lend to these mortgage prisoners. But once the regulator’s new rules have come into force, industry should be ready to step up to help those borrowers that meet their risk profile.”

FCA on LCF

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And following on from that Money Box report, the Financial Conduct Authority has told the Treasury Select Committee that it is considering launching an investigation into regulatory failures.

"It is important that we address any inadequacies in the existing regulatory system without delay," writes Charles Randell, chair of the FCA.

"As a result, we will need to carefully consider the scope and phasing of any investigation we may undertake very carefully."