Session 2014 - 15
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Other Bills before Parliament


 
 

55

 

House of Commons

 
 

Tuesday 21  October 2014

 

Public Bill Committee

 

New Amendments handed in are marked thus Parliamentary Star

 

Parliamentary Star - whiteAmendments which will comply with the required notice period at their next appearance

 

Small Business, Enterprise and


 

Employment Bill


 

Note

 

The Amendments have been arranged in accordance with the Order of the

 

Committee [14 October 2014].

 


 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Clause  3,  page  3,  line  40,  leave out “may” and insert “shall”

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  3,  line  43,  after “policies”, insert “and performance”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment provides that companies can be judged on their performance in practice.

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  4,  line  28,  at end add—

 

“(4A)    

“Performance” has such meaning as may be prescribed, and the information

 

which may be prescribed shall in particular include information on late payment

 

of invoices by the company, to include in a quarterly report which shall include—


 
 

Public Bill Committee:                               

56

 

, continued

 
 

(a)    

lists of all payments to suppliers which were made over 30 days after the

 

date indicated by the suppliers agreed payment terms, without a formal

 

query having been registered with the suppliers within a period as may be

 

prescribed;

 

(b)    

confirmation, for each instance listed under paragraph (a), that interest,

 

equalling the Bank of England base rate plus 8% APR, was paid to

 

compensate the supplier for overdue payment; and

 

(c)    

assurance, for each instance listed under paragraph (a) where

 

confirmation of compensation under paragraph (b) cannot be provided,

 

of a payment plan in place to compensate suppliers on the basis set out in

 

that paragraph.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment defines “performance” against which companies will be judged.

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  4,  line  28,  at end insert—

 

“(g)    

about the circumstances and process for amendment of payment terms of

 

the company.”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment aims to require companies to include details of the circumstances and process

 

(including who will be involved) by which payment terms can be amended, preventing unilateral

 

and ad hoc changes.

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  4,  line  29,  leave out “may” and insert “shall”

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  4,  line  31,  at end add—

 

“(5A)    

A person making a false report of payment performance commits an offence

 

punishable under subsection (8).”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment establishes that the financial reporting officer shall be liable for false reporting.

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  4,  line  32,  leave out “may” and insert “shall”

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  4,  line  35,  leave out “may” and insert “shall”

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Clause  3,  page  4,  line  40,  at end add—


 
 

Public Bill Committee:                               

57

 

, continued

 
 

“(8)    

It shall be an offence for a company, prescribed by the Secretary of State, to fail

 

to complete a payment plan to compensate a supplier where payment to that

 

supplier has been delayed by more than 30 days after the date indicated by that

 

supplier’s agreed payment terms.

 

(9)    

A company committing an offence under subsection (8) shall be subject to a fine

 

not exceeding the amount of the invoice, up to £10,000 on summary conviction.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment makes it an offence for companies not to fulfil compensation payment plans.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  4,  page  5,  line  3,  leave out “(“credit information regulations”)”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment is a minor drafting change removing a definition which is no longer required.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  4,  page  5,  line  9,  at end insert—

 

“(c)    

a duty on designated banks and designated credit reference agencies to

 

provide information about the criteria used to calculate the credit score of

 

a small and medium-sized business customer to such customers.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment aims to establish a duty for banks and credit reference agencies to provide

 

information about the criteria used to calculate the credit score of an SME customer to increase

 

transparency and guidance for small firms to understand the calculation of their credit score and

 

to help them to take steps to improve it.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  4,  page  5,  line  19,  at end insert—

 

“(3A)    

The regulations must provide that the duty in subsection (1)(c) only applies where

 

a small or medium-sized business makes a request to a designated credit reference

 

agency or bank.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment aims to establish a duty for banks and credit reference agencies to provide

 

information about the criteria used to calculate the credit score of an SME customer to increase

 

transparency and guidance for small firms to understand the calculation of their credit score and

 

to help them to take steps to improve it.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  4,  page  5,  line  28,  at end insert—

 

“(ba)    

to which the duty in subsection (1)(c) applies.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement


 
 

Public Bill Committee:                               

58

 

, continued

 
 

This amendment aims to establish a duty for banks and credit reference agencies to provide

 

information about the criteria used to calculate the credit score of an SME customer to increase

 

transparency and guidance for small firms to understand the calculation of their credit score and

 

to help them to take steps to improve it.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  4,  page  5,  line  43,  leave out “before a bank or credit reference agency may”

 

and insert “for a bank or credit reference agency to”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment ensures that regulations made under clause 4 may provide for conditions relevant

 

to the continued designation of a bank or credit reference agency, as well as conditions relevant

 

to the initial designation of a bank or credit reference agency.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  4,  page  6,  line  7,  leave out subsections (8) to (12)

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

The omitted provisions are being moved to the new clause inserted by amendment NC2 as they are

 

common to both clause 4 and the new clause inserted by amendment NC1.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  4,  page  6,  line  15,  at end insert—

 

“(8A)    

For the purposes of this section, a designated bank or designated credit reference

 

agency may only share information that has been specifically identified by the

 

business to which the information relates.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment is to ensure the security of the data being shared by banks and credit reference

 

agencies..

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  4,  page  6,  line  33,  at end insert—

 

“(11A)    

Before making regulations under subsection (1), the Secretary of State shall carry

 

out an impact assessment which will examine—

 

(a)    

costs incurred by the bank, credit reference agency and business; and

 

(b)    

the impact that costs incurred will have on the final cost of borrowing for

 

small and medium-sized enterprises.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment aims to ensure that analysis is undertaken by the Government that looks at the

 

impact of the costs of this process and procedure on both the sharing of information (the process)

 

and the final cost of borrowing.


 
 

Public Bill Committee:                               

59

 

, continued

 
 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  6,  line  36,  leave out “Credit information regulations” and insert

 

“Regulations under sections 4 and (Small and medium sized businesses: information to

 

finance platforms)”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment means that the Financial Conduct Authority can regulate the activities under the

 

new clause inserted by amendment NC1 in the same way as it will be able to regulate activities

 

under clause 4.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  5,  page  6,  line  38,  at end insert—

 

“(1A)    

In making provisions under subsection (1), the Secretary of State shall include a

 

funding mechanism enabling the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to monitor

 

and enforce compliance with the regulations.”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This is a probing amendment to explore who bears the costs of the FCA process of enforcement

 

and compliance.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  8,  leave out “Credit information regulations” and insert

 

“Regulations under sections 4 and (Small and medium sized businesses: information to

 

finance platforms)”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment and amendment 6 mean that the Financial Ombudsman Service could have

 

oversight of activities under the new clause inserted by amendment NC1 in the same way as it can

 

have oversight of the activities under clause 4.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  9,  after “agencies” insert “or designated finance platforms”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

See explanatory statement to amendment 5.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  19,  leave out “Credit information regulations” and insert

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment, and amendments 10, 11 and 12 are consequential upon the drafting change made

 

by amendment 1.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  21,  after “allow” insert “or require”

 

Member’s explanatory statement


 
 

Public Bill Committee:                               

60

 

, continued

 
 

This amendment makes it clear that the regulations can require the Bank of England to share

 

information it receives from credit reference agencies with persons specified in the regulations

 

(such as the Treasury).

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  22,  leave out “prescribed persons or for prescribed purposes”

 

and insert “persons or for purposes specified or described in the regulations”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This is a minor drafting amendment which clarifies that the extent of the Bank of England’s ability

 

to share information received pursuant to regulations made under clause 4 may be specified or

 

described in those regulations.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  25,  leave out “Credit information regulations” and insert

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

See explanatory statement to amendment 7.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  29,  leave out “Credit information regulations” and insert

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

See explanatory statement to amendment 7.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  leave out lines 39 to 41 and insert—

 

“(8A)    

Credit information regulations shall provide a small or medium-sized business

 

with the right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman seeking a determination

 

requiring a designated credit reference agency to rectify, block, erase or destroy

 

data held about the complainant.

 

(9A)    

Section 226A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 is amended as

 

follows. After subsection (f) insert—

 

“(g)    

the complaint is one falling under section 5(8A) of the Small

 

Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2014.””.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  39,  leave out “Credit information regulations” and insert

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

See explanatory statement to amendment 7.


 
 

Public Bill Committee:                               

61

 

, continued

 
 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  41,  at end insert—

 

“( )    

Regulations under section (Small and medium sized businesses: information to

 

finance platforms) may impose a duty on designated finance platforms to provide

 

statistical information to the Treasury.”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment enables regulations made under the new clause inserted by amendment NC1 to

 

require platforms designated under those regulations to provide the Treasury with statistical

 

information to do with the information shared under the regulations.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  42,  leave out “credit information regulations that are made”

 

and insert “regulations made under section 4 and the first regulations made under section

 

(Small and medium sized businesses: information to finance platforms)”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment means that the first regulations made under the new clause inserted by

 

amendment NC1 would, like the first regulations made under clause 4, be subject to the affirmative

 

procedure.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  44,  leave out “credit information regulations” and insert

 

“regulations made under section 4 or (Small and medium sized businesses: information to

 

finance platforms)”

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment means that any subsequent regulations made under the new clause inserted by

 

amendment NC1 would, like subsequent regulations made under clause 4, be subject to the

 

negative procedure.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Clause  5,  page  7,  line  46,  leave out subsection (11)

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This is a minor drafting amendment which omits definitions which are no longer needed in clause

 

5 either because all instances of the defined term are removed by other amendments, or because

 

the definition is included in the new clause inserted by amendment NC2.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Clause  6,  page  8,  line  16,  after “information”, insert “specifically financial

 

information that would include entire tax records”.

 

Member’s explanatory statement

 

This amendment strengthens the safeguard in subsection (2) restricting the information that can

 

be disclosed.


 
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Revised 21 October 2014