My Lords, I want briefly to support the Government's position here. I am one of the few people still around who participated in the lifeboat back in 1974 in the wake of the secondary banking crisis then. Although I felt that the Bank of England had been less than perfect in allowing that crisis to develop, the way in which it handled it was first class. It did not cost the taxpayer a penny and the lifeboat got to grips and sorted out the various banks that were, in essence, bust.
The fears that I expressed in the other place at the time of the FiSMA about the tripartite agreement were exactly what transpired. The three parties failed to reach agreement, as I think is now widely recognised and known, and it is a miracle that the banking system did not actually collapse because it was dangerously close to doing so. In a banking crisis which is not about, if you like, conduct and how customers are treated, but for whatever reason is about the potential pack of cards implosion of the banking system, it is crucial that it is the banking regulator entity-in essence the Bank of England in consultation with the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the day-that has clear authority to get on and take the necessary measures promptly.