PPI claims and charges for claims management services: general

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 6th February 2018.

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Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury 10:00 am, 6th February 2018

I beg to move amendment 5, in clause 26, page 21, line 17, leave out “and 28” and insert

“to (PPI claims: interim restriction on charges imposed by legal practitioners after transfer of regulation to FCA)”.

This amendment would apply the explanation of terms given in clause 26 to the new clause inserted by NC3.

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

Government amendment 6.

Clause stand part.

Government new clause 3—PPI claims: interim restriction on charges imposed by legal practitioners after transfer of regulation to FCA.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

These amendments ensure that legal services regulators can continue to impose fee restrictions for PPI claims from the point at which the transfer of regulation of CMCs to the FCA takes place. This will be effective in the case of the Law Society of England and Wales until it implements its own rules on fee capping and, in the case of the General Council of the Bar and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, until 29 April 2020.

The interim fee cap will be set at 20% of the claim value, excluding VAT. It will apply to CMCs and legal services providers, and will be enforced by the relevant regulators from two months after the Bill receives Royal Assent. The interim fee cap will ensure fair and proportionate prices for consumers using claims management services for mis-sold PPI claims.

Government amendments 5 and 6 and new clause 3 ensure that the interim fee cap provisions introduced as a concessionary amendment in the House of Lords work together with the other Government amendments we are discussing today, and provide the legal services regulators with the power to restrict fees in relation to claim management services. The amendments will ensure that consumers are equally protected from excessive fees when using a legal services provider to make a claim for mis-sold PPI, and that there is continuity of coverage for the fee cap throughout the transfer of regulation. This is similar to the existing provisions in the Bill in relation to the FCA. I hope that all Members will agree that these are sensible and desirable amendments for the purposes of consumer protection.

Photo of Jack Dromey Jack Dromey Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Pensions)

Briefly, I have two related points. First, we agree that the legal services regulators should be given those powers. Secondly, and crucially, the objective is to protect consumers. I once again refer to amendments 47 and 48, which I will speak to shortly.

Amendment 5 agreed to.

Amendment made: 6, in clause 26, page 22, line 11, at end insert—

“, and

(c) so far as relevant for the purposes of section (PPI claims: interim restriction on charges imposed by legal practitioners after transfer of regulation to FCA), to be read as referring to any service which is a relevant claims management activity (within the meaning given by subsection (5) of that section).”—

This amendment would define what references to “regulated services” in clause 26 mean when relevant for the purposes of the new clause inserted by NC3.

Clause 26, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 27