The Queen’s Speech 2022 outlined the government’s legislative priorities for the next parliamentary session.
The measures announced include two bills of particular interest to financial services practitioners:
Financial Services and Markets Bill – the purpose of this Bill is to enhance the UK’s position as a global leader in financial services, ensuring the sector continues to deliver for individuals and businesses and promoting a competitive marketplace. The main elements of the Bill are:
- revoking retained EU law on financial services and replacing it with an approach to regulation that is designed for the UK. This includes the Solvency II legislation, which the government has committed to reform;
- updating the objectives of the financial services regulators to ensure a greater focus on growth and international competitiveness;
- reforming the rules that regulate the UK’s capital markets to promote investment;
- introducing additional protections for those investing or using financial products, to make it safer and support the victims of scams; and
- ensuring that people across the UK continue to be able to access their own cash with ease.
In relation to this final point, HM Treasury has published a press release which clarifies that the Bill will ensure the continued availability of withdrawal and deposit facilities across the UK and that the UK’s cash infrastructure is sustainable for the long term.
Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill – this Bill aims to tackle illicit finance, reduce economic crime (including money laundering and fraud) and help businesses grow.
Alongside the speech, the government has also published background briefing notes which provide a summary of the legislation to be brought forward.