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Oversight Committee

Part of Financial Services Bill (Money) (No. 2) – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 10th December 2012.

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Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire 8:30 pm, 10th December 2012

The hon. Lady is entirely right, and I alluded to that point when I talked about behavioural charges. It is wrong to think we can legislate perfectly for all eventualities in advance, however. This market has an amazing ability to shapeshift and find its way around any regulation we might put in place, as has been seen in the United States.

I would like to hear an assurance from the Minister that under the new regime it will be possible to have a flexible capping regime that allows for all parts of the market to operate while also insisting that they do so in a responsible way. I also seek an assurance that we will not just address “payday” loans, which are a relatively new phenomenon in this country. Home credit is massive, and it has been with us since Victorian times, and has been a problem for quite a long time. There is also pawnbroking, as my hon. Friend Tracey Crouch mentioned. Logbook loans are a big market in the United States; they have not appeared in a major way here, but we can bet our bottom dollar that they would get a big boost if other parts of the market were capped. Rent-to-own is another area.

On the basis of the Minister’s conversations across Government, can he assure us that the Government will continue with an integrated approach that addresses not just regulation, but boosting financial capability, starting with children’s capability with mathematics in school? Will they also continue to support operators that provide responsible credit, in particular credit unions? I pay tribute to the work the Government are doing in supporting that sector, and would like them to go further in modernising it and making credit union services more widely available, such as through the post office network.