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Clause 1 - Deputy Governors

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 21st February 2012.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 11:45 am, 21st February 2012

The hon. Lady makes a helpful point. The previous Government legislated to reduce to nine the number of non-executive directors on the court. If we had a designated Scottish place, the hon. Member for Foyle would ask for a member to represent Northern Ireland. We do not have a Member here from a Welsh constituency—ah, the hon. Member for Islwyn, of course. He might argue for a Welsh member of the court. We are looking for a court that has the skills to do the job we are asking for. That is what we should aim for when it comes to appointments. We are looking for a court that is effective, that has depth and breadth of skill and experience. We can achieve that without the prescriptive legislative obligation in front of us.

I remind hon. Members that appointments to the court are not made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. They are made by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, who in turn relies on the recommendation of the Chancellor. I do not think it would be appropriate to impose a duty on Her Majesty to form a view of the candidate’s knowledge or experience, or the diversity of the court, before making the appointment. The hon. Member for Nottingham East might wish to make to that point to her when she comes to Parliament on 20 March.