Clause 19 - Repeal of competition scrutiny power

Part of Financial Services Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 8th March 2012.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Minister (Treasury) 9:45 am, 8th March 2012

This clause, which is even shorter than the previous one, will repeal section 95 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. My powers of deduction tell me that the clause is very much linked to the more mammoth clause 22, which will introduce new arrangements for the regulation of a number of behaviours and practices by the regulators generally. We are deleting provisions in existing legislation at this point of the Bill to have new provisions inserted later; I think that is the case.

Section 95 of the 2000 Act is currently designed to ensure that where a provider or practitioner’s actions have a significantly adverse effect on competition, either by exploiting or unfairly dominating the market, action may be taken by the regulator to check that behaviour. There will be new arrangements in clause 22 to replace those. We could discuss them either now or later, but given that there are a number of other things to be discussed under clause 22, will the Minister explain now the difference between the competition powers that are being abolished by clause 19 and those to be introduced? How will improvements be made by his intended replacement provisions?