Clause 5

Part of Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 10th June 2009.

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Photo of Malcolm Wicks Malcolm Wicks Labour, Croydon North 4:30 pm, 10th June 2009

Clause 5 is particularly important because it enables provisions corresponding to building society law to be made for credit unions, which I know have broad support in House, not least at this difficult financial time.

The power will allow any provisions of building societies legislation that are deemed appropriate to be mirrored for credit unions. There has been a significant  expansion in credit union membership in recent years, including—I declare an interest—in my own Croydon credit union. The best way to allow credit union law to keep pace with credit unions’ expanding membership and operations is to bring it in line with building society law, which is tailored to deal with issues specific to institutions that accept deposits.

The power is widely drawn to allow any provisions of building society legislation that are deemed appropriate to be mirrored for credit unions, but there are restrictions to ensure that specific provisions of existing credit union law cannot be modified. Thus provisions regarding registration, the use of the name “credit union”, the general prohibition on deposit taking, amalgamations or transfers of engagements, and conversion of status for a credit union company, are safe. There is a requirement that the Treasury consult such persons as appear appropriate before using the new power.