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Clause 189

Part of Banking Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 28th October 2008.

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Photo of Ian Pearson Ian Pearson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, Economic Secretary, HM Treasury 5:45 pm, 28th October 2008

The clause, as the hon. Gentleman rightly says, enables the Bank to require the operators of recognised inter-bank payment systems to charge fees. The Bank does not currently intend to charge fees for its routine oversight of payment systems under this part of the Bill, and instead will meet its costs from its overall budget for financial stability policy functions, as is the case for its non-statutory oversight. However, the clause ensures that the Bank could continue to resource its oversight activity if the overall funding model changed.

In addition, if the Bank incurred exceptional expenses on its oversight activities—for example, due to the engagement of an expert to carry out an inspection under clause 179—it would aim to recover those costs from the system concerned. The scale of fees would be set by the Treasury in regulations to ensure that they are proportionate. The provisions are sensible and straightforward.