Banking Bill — Committee (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:00 pm on 20th January 2009.

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Photo of Lord Howard of Rising Lord Howard of Rising Shadow Minister, Culture, Media & Sport, Shadow Minister, Cabinet Office, Shadow Minister, Treasury 7:00 pm, 20th January 2009

Again, I thank all noble Lords who contributed so much to this debate. I am grateful that the Minister is going to reconsider the clause and I hope that he will listen to the comments made by my noble friends. He might just bear in mind that a 28-day limit is rather like a speed limit: it is something that people go up to but never under.

I would also like the Minister to confirm that the Government will not allow 28-day orders to lapse which then enable them to stick another one in saying, "Parliament didn't object to this so we can just get a new one". Perhaps when he is considering revising the clause he could look at the drafting to see what can be done to stop this draconian legislation being applied to any other matters. He keeps saying that it will be used only for narrow purposes but, as drafted, the law would allow all sorts of undesirable things to happen.

Clause 75 agreed.

Clauses 76 to 80 agreed.

Amendments 126 and 127

Moved by Lord Myners

126: After Clause 80, insert the following new Clause—

"Holding companies: temporary public ownership

(1) The Treasury may take a parent undertaking of a bank (the "holding company") into temporary public ownership, in accordance with section 13(2), if the following conditions are met.

(2) Condition 1 is that the FSA are satisfied that the general conditions for the exercise of a stabilisation power set out in section 7 are met in respect of the bank.

(3) Condition 2 is that the Treasury are satisfied that it is necessary to take action in respect of the holding company for the purpose specified in Condition A or B of section 9.

(4) Condition 3 is that the holding company is an undertaking incorporated in, or formed under the law of any part of, the United Kingdom.

(5) Before determining whether Condition 2 is met the Treasury must consult—

(a) the FSA, and

(b) the Bank of England.

(6) Expressions used in this section have the same meaning as in the Companies Act 2006."

127: After Clause 80, insert the following new Clause—

"Holding companies: supplemental

(1) In the following provisions references to banks include references to holding companies—

(a) section 13(3),

(b) section 16(1), and

(c) section 75(5)(a).

(2) Where the Treasury take a bank's holding company into temporary public ownership in reliance on section (Holding companies: temporary public ownership)—

(a) section 20(2) applies to (i) directors of the holding company, (ii) directors of the bank, and (iii) directors of a bank in the same group,

(b) section 25(2) applies as if references to a bank were references to a holding company,

(c) sections 27 to 29 apply as if references to a bank were references to a holding company,

(d) a share transfer may be made in respect of securities which were issued by the bank or by another bank which is or was in the same group; and a transfer—

(i) shall be made by onward share transfer order under section 28 or by reverse share transfer order under section 29 (in addition to any that may be made under those sections as applied by paragraph (c) above),

(ii) may be made under section 28 only in respect of securities held by (or for the benefit of) the holding company or a subsidiary undertaking of the holding company,

(iii) is not subject to section 28(4),

(iv) may be made under section 29 only in respect of securities held by a person of a kind listed in section 29(3)(b), and

(v) is not (otherwise) subject to section 29(3),

(e) section 45 applies as if—

(i) the reference to a bank in subsection (1) were a reference to a holding company, and

(ii) a reference to the bank in subsection (3) were a reference to the holding company, the bank and any other bank which is or was in the same group,

(f) sections 65 to 68 apply, with—

(i) references to the bank or the transferred bank taken as references to the bank, the holding company and any other bank which is or was in the same group, and

(ii) references to securities of the bank taken as including references to securities of the holding company (so that, in particular, sections 65(1)(a)(ii) and 68(1)(a) include references to the earlier transfer of securities issued by the holding company),

(g) other provisions of this Act about share transfer orders apply with any necessary modifications,

(h) section 214B of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 applies (contribution to costs of special resolution regime - inserted by section 168 below), and

(i) the reference in section 214B(1)(b) to the bank, and later references in the section, are treated as including references to any other bank which is also a subsidiary undertaking of the holding company (but not to the holding company itself).

(3) A reference in this Act or another enactment to a share transfer order in respect of securities issued by a bank includes (so far as the context permits) a reference to a share transfer order in respect of securities issued by a holding company.

(4) In so far as sections 47 and 60 apply in relation to orders treated as property transfer instruments by virtue of section 45(5)(b) or 46(5)(b) (including those sections as applied by virtue of subsection (2) above) the reference in section 47(1) to the property of a bank includes a reference to the property of a holding company and of any other bank which is or was in the same group.

(5) Expressions used in this section have the same meaning as in the Companies Act 2006.

(6) A reference to two banks being in the same group is a reference to their being group undertakings in respect of each other."

Amendments 126 and 127 agreed.

Clauses 81 to 86 agreed.

Amendment 128

Moved by Baroness Noakes

128: After Clause 86, insert the following new Clause—

"Foreign banks

(1) The Treasury may by order provide for the application of this Part to foreign banks in respect of their activities in the UK.

(2) A foreign bank is an EEA firm qualifying for authorisation to accept deposits under Schedule 3 to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or a Treaty firm qualifying for authorisation to accept deposits under Schedule 4 to that Act.

(3) An order may disapply, modify or apply (with or without modifications) any enactment which relates, or in so far as it relates, to the UK operations of foreign banks.

(4) An order—

(a) shall be made by statutory instrument, and

(b) may not be made unless a draft has been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

(5) Provision made under or by virtue of this Part may make special provision in relation to the application of this Part to the UK activities of foreign banks."