Monday, 5 January 2009

Treasury committee on the banking crisis

Back into work, and the year kicks off with the Treasury committee inquiry into the banking crisis. Oral evidence sessions are next week (see some of those scheduled to give evidence here), the deadline for written submissions is tomorrow midday.

There are some interesting (to me anyway!) questions on the agenda. Here's the full list -

1. Securing financial stability
1.1 The role of auditors in the banking crisis, and whether any reform to that role is desirable.
1.2 The role, and regulation, of credit ratings agencies in the banking crisis, and whether any reforms are desirable.
1.3 The role, and regulation, of hedge funds in the banking crisis, and whether any reforms are desirable.
1.4 Ongoing reforms to the operation of the Tripartite Committee, and cooperation between the relevant public sector authorities.
1.5 The impact of European Union directives on financial stability, including “passporting”.
1.6 Possible reforms to the remuneration structures prevalent in financial services.
1.7 Reforms to regulatory capital and liquidity requirements.
1.8 Possible improvements to the architecture of international financial regulation and maintenance of global financial stability.
1.9 Regulation of highly complex financial products, and the future of the “originate-to-distribute model”.
1.10 Risks to financial stability emanating from non-bank financial institutions.
1.11 The role of the media in financial stability and whether financial journalists should operate under any form of reporting restrictions during banking crises.
1.12 Monitoring and surveillance of financial stability problems by the public sector.
1.13 The role of the banking system within the overall economy.
1.14 The impact of short-selling in the banking crisis and its regulation.

2. Protecting the taxpayer
2.1 The advantages and disadvantages of the UK Government’s response to the banking crisis, including comparisons with alternative approaches adopted in other jurisdictions.
2.2 The nationalisation of Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley.
2.3 The Government’s recapitalisation programme, and part-nationalisation of major high-street banks.
2.4 The aims, objectives and exit strategy of the Government’s investments in UK financial institutions.
2.5 The role of UKFI and its relationship with the part-nationalised banks.
2.6 The impact of current Government policy on future taxpayers, including the impact of moral hazard.
3. Protecting consumers
3.1 The role of banks in receipt of public investment in fulfilling the Government’s aspirations for assisting customers, and small businesses, in financial difficulty.
3.2 The importance of retail banking as a “utility”, and whether retail banks should be separate from other activities such as investment banking and insurance provision.
3.3 The competition impact of further consolidation within the retail financial services sector.
3.4 The product pricing of credit facilities, including mortgages, credit cards, store cards and small business loans.
3.5 The protection of UK citizens investing funds in non-UK jurisdictions.
3.6 The impact of deposit protection on both consumers and competition.
3.7 The role of financial advisers in the banking crisis.
3.8 The impact of the banking crisis on consumer confidence in financial institutions.
4. Protecting shareholder interests
4.1 The rights of shareholders in the context of new sources of investment, including the UK Government and sovereign wealth funds.
4.2 The responsibilities of shareholders an ensuring financial institutions are managed in their own interests.
Presumably as usual many organisations will make their written evidence publicly available, so I'll try and post up stuff as I see it.


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