HM Treasury Consultation Paper on the Macroprudential Directive Tools of the FPC

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HM Treasury has published a consultation paper on the tools available to the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) to address systemic risks to the stability of the financial system entitled ‘The Financial Services Bill: the Financial Policy Committee’s macro-prudential tools’ (the “Consultation Paper”).

The Financial Service Bill provides the FPC with two primary powers. The first of these is the power to make recommendations (which can be made on a comply-or-explain basis) to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Treasury and the Bank of England. The second is the power to direct the PRA and FCA to take action, and the tools that the PRA should have under this power (the “directive tools”) are the subject of the Consultation Paper.

In December 2011, the Bank of England published a discussion paper entitled ‘Instruments of Macroprudential Policy’. The Consultation Paper builds on the responses to the discussion paper and proposes directive tools that the FPC should have, including:

  • o    control over the level of the UK’s counter-cyclical capital buffer;
  • o    a direction-making power to impose sectoral capital requirements; and
  • o    once international standards are in place, the power to set, and vary over time, a leverage ratio cap.

HM Treasury invites responses to its Consultation Paper by December 11.