Banking Bill — Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 20th January 2009.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Noakes Baroness Noakes Shadow Minister, Treasury 3:30 pm, 20th January 2009

Before I consider what to do with my amendment, will the Minister explain the difference in Clause 64(3) between paragraphs (a) and (b)? As I understood the Minister, the formulation of "reasonable consideration" was appropriate with regard to money, but somehow "arm's-length" terms was the correct formulation for everything else. If we have a potentially monopolistic provider, why are not paragraphs (a) and (b) both on reasonable terms rather than market terms? If you can ascertain arm's-length terms for one set of conditions, you can do it for price, or vice versa—or, you cannot do it for both. There is a mismatch in the Government's own drafting, in that they apply a different standard to price compared to the other terms, which may be more important than price, in practical terms, for the residual organisation providing the services. Yet the Government have set up a completely separate way in which to determine those two sets of terms. Can the Minister explain the difference?