Financial Services and Markets Bill — Reports by Director General of Fair Trading — 27 Jan 2000

Mr Stuart Bell MP, Middlesbrough voted with the majority (Aye).

I beg to move amendment No. 33, in page 201, line 39, after "faith" insert "or due to recklessness".

The amendment relates to the extremely contentious issue of statutory immunity. All hon. Members should be alert to any proposal to exempt any outside body from the force of law. For that reason, we have paid special attention to schedule 1. Part IV of the schedule will exempt the authority--both the corporate body and anyone who works for it--from legal action, except in certain narrowly defined circumstances.

The matter needs careful scrutiny. It is objectionable in principle for any body or person to elevate themselves above the law. It is ironic that the Bill extends the law--indeed, it creates new law--bringing people within its ambit, in many cases for the first time, while the FSA is retreating behind the wall of statutory immunity.

The Government must explain why the FSA is taking that degree of immunity, when the trend of political development over recent years has been to remove

27 Jan 2000 : Column 626

statutory immunity. I remember a time when Crown immunity meant that if health and safety provisions were being ignored--in hospitals, for example--the law offered complete immunity from any legal action. Since that time, much has happened to bring public bodies within the law, making them accountable; for example, neither the police nor the Serious Fraud Office are statutorily immune.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

(2) If the Lord Chancellor establishes a scheme under subsection (1), it must provide that a person is eligible for assistance only if--

(a) he falls within subsection (3); and

(b) he fulfils such other criteria (if any) as may be prescribed as a result of section ( Provisions of the legal assistance scheme )(1)(d).

(3) A person falls within this subsection if he is an individual who has referred a matter to the Tribunal under section 101(4).

(4) In this Part of this Act "the legal assistance scheme" means any scheme in force under subsection (1).".-- [Mr. Timms.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Michael Lord):

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

(6) The Lord Chancellor must--

(a) repay, out of money provided by Parliament, the excess to the Authority; or

(b) take the excess into account on the next occasion on which he makes a determination under subsection (1).

(7) The Authority must make provision for any sum repaid to it under subsection (6)(a)--

(a) to be distributed among--

(i) the authorised persons on whom a levy was imposed in the period in question as a result of rules made under subsection (2); or

(ii) such of those persons as it may determine;

(b) to be applied in order to reduce any amounts which those persons, or such of them as it may determine, are or will be liable to pay to the Authority, whether under rules made under subsection (2) or otherwise; or

(c) to be partly so distributed and partly so applied.

(8) If the Authority considers that it is not practicable to deal with any part of a sum repaid to it under subsection (6)(a) in accordance with provision made by it as a result of subsection (7), it may, with the consent the Lord Chancellor, apply or dispose of that part of that sum in such manner as it considers appropriate.

(9) "Specified" means specified in the rules.".-- [Mr. Betts.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

(3) "Repayment provision" means any provision made by virtue of--

(a) section ( Funding of the legal assistance scheme )(7) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 ("the Act of 2000");

(b) section 188(1)(e) of the Act of 2000.

(4) "Authorised person" has the same meaning as in the Act of 2000.

Levies and repayments under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000: investment companies

76B.--(1) For the purposes of section 75 any sums paid by an investment company--

(a) by way of a levy, or

(b) as a result of an award of costs under costs rules,

shall be treated as part of its expenses of management.

(2) If a payment is made to an investment company as a result of a repayment provision, the company shall be charged to tax under Case VI of Schedule D on the amount of that payment.

(3) "Levy" has the meaning given in section 76(7A).

(4) "Costs rules" means--

(a) rules made under section 205 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;

(b) provision relating to costs contained in the standard terms fixed under paragraph 18 of Schedule 14 to that Act.

(5) "Repayment provision" has the meaning given in section 76A(3)." ". -- [Mr. Betts.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

(7) Before publishing a report under this section the Director must, so far as practicable, exclude any matter which relates to the private affairs of a particular individual the publication of which, in the opinion of the Director, would or might seriously and prejudicially affect his interests.

(8) Before publishing such a report the Director must, so far as practicable, exclude any matter which relates to the affairs of a particular body the publication of which, in the opinion of the Director, would or might seriously and prejudicially affect its interests.

(9) Subsections (7) and (8) do not apply in relation to copies of a report which the Director is required to send under subsection (5)(a) or (6)(a).

(10) For the purposes of the law of defamation, absolute privilege attaches to any report of the Director under this section.".-- [Miss Melanie Johnson.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Government new clause 28-- Consideration by Competition Commission.

Question put , That the clause be read a Second time:--

The House divided: Ayes 282, Noes 124.

Historical Hansard | Online Hansard |

Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (Aye)Minority (No)BothTurnout
Con0 121 (+2 tell)076.4%
Ind1 0050.0%
Lab262 (+2 tell) 0063.3%
LDem18 0039.1%
PC1 0033.3%
UUP0 3030.0%
Total:282 124064.2%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

NameConstituencyPartyVote
no rebellions

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