Banking Bill — Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 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) 6:30 pm, 20th January 2009

This is not my amendment, so I am not summing up, but I shall respond. Let us not be too general in our arguments. This power is circumscribed by the earlier parts of the Bill defining the situation in which these powers may be applied. They are limited. Within that framework, the Government are seeking a power that will ensure that we can take action on a failing bank that is a threat to the financial system. Within the framework of this legislation, we can take action to deal with an emergency that we cannot describe fully and in detail, but we know the cost of loss of confidence in the financial system. The potential necessity for the authorities to act with great rapidity on a failing bank is the framework within which these powers are sought. There should not be delay because of consideration of other legislation.

Earlier, I introduced into the debate the fact that one or two other Acts of Parliament were passed against a background where it was recognised that they were being introduced in an area where there was existing legislation and that they took precedence over it. I heard what the noble and learned Lord, Lord Lyell, who has a distinguished record in the law, said. I am merely indicating that we are seeking these powers for circumstances that are clearly prescribed in the Bill, and the noble and learned Lord ought not to generalise too far in his representations.