Banking Bill — Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 20th January 2009.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 4:15 pm, 20th January 2009

Let me emphasise that rights can be transferred with great rapidity. Under the Bradford & Bingley transfer order, which the Committee will recall, employees were transferred to a new scheme with Banco Santander much more rapidly than one would expect in normal commercial transactions. We all recognise the element of urgency that is bound to attend an issue of that kind.

I am merely bringing to the Committee's attention the fact that the Government are not seeking to rewrite the law on pensions to disadvantage a single pensioner in the country; they are seeking merely to ensure that, with transfers that are in the public interest and that need to be effected with speed, the pension position is not a block because of the normal processes that obtain with the transfer of pensions. Such a block would jeopardise the successful conclusion of a transfer that is very much in the public interest.

I cannot emphasise the position a great deal more, but I hear what the noble Baroness says: I have to establish further the Government's position on non-interference in accrued rights. Of course I will take that point on board.