Clause 12 - Notice of default sums

Consumer Credit Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at on 25 January 2005.

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Amendment proposed [this day]: No. 22, in clause 12, page 10, line 23, at end insert—

'(6A) The debtor shall not be required to pay a default sum unless the liability to do so is clearly set out in the statement as required under subsection (7) of section 6 of this Act.'.—[Mr. Laurence Robertson.]

Question again proposed, That the amendment be made.

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs) 12:00, 25 January 2005

The hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr. Robertson) moved amendment No. 22, which is based on arguments similar to those he raised in amendment No. 17. Since we did not support amendment No. 17, it will come as no surprise to him that we will not support amendment No. 22 either. I understand the spirit and intention of what he is trying to achieve, but the Government have identified a better process for ensuring that people are informed fully about the default sums incurred when they incur them. For those reasons I do not need to go into any great detail. It is important that people understand fully their default situations, but it would not be helpful to follow the route that the hon. Member for Tewkesbury suggests. Therefore I respectfully ask him to withdraw his amendment in the same spirit as he did so previously.

Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

I did not withdraw amendment No. 17; I pressed it to a vote, as acceptance of the amendment would—

Photo of Gerry Sutcliffe Gerry Sutcliffe Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs)

I apologise. I have just had lunch with the British Retail Consortium, so my memory is slightly clouded. I remember now, and acknowledge that the hon. Member for Tewkesbury did push amendment No. 17 to a vote.

Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

I hope that the Minister enjoyed his lunch. I am sure that it was rather better than my lunch in the Tea Room.

Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

Such indeed. I did not withdraw amendment No. 17 because its acceptance would have improved the world of consumer credit, in the sense that it would have required the lender to set out clearly the terms of the agreement into which the borrower was entering. However, it was lost. Amendment No. 22 is consequential on that, so I do not intend to press it to the vote. It is important that the lender set out clearly the detailed terms of the agreement so that the borrower has no illusions about what he is entering into or the consequences of any default. Given that I did not win that vote, I do not suppose that I shall win   this one, so I shall not trouble the Committee any further with it. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Photo of John Butterfill John Butterfill Conservative, Bournemouth West

It will not be necessary, or even desirable, for all hon. Members to preface their remarks by stating their luncheon arrangements. [Laughter.] For the convenience of hon. Members a new selection list is available.

Clause 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill.