Session 2014 - 15
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7

 

House of Commons

 
 

Tuesday 21 October 2014

 

Public Bill Committee Proceedings

 

Small Business, Enterprise and


 

Employment Bill


 

[Fifth and SIxth Sittings]


 

Clauses 1 and 2 Agreed to.

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Negatived on division  53

 

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

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Negatived on division  34

 

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

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Negatived on division  35

 

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—

 

(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.”.


 
 

:                                             

8

 

, continued

 
 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Not called  52

 

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

 

“(g)    

about the circumstances and process for amendment of payment terms of

 

the company.”

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Not called  54

 

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

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Not called  36

 

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).”.

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Not called  55

 

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

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Not called  56

 

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

 

Toby Perkins

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Ian Murray

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Not called  37

 

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

 

“(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.”.

 

Clause Agreed to.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  1

 

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


 
 

:                                             

9

 

, continued

 
 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Negatived on division  43

 

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.”.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Not called  44

 

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

 

Not called  45

 

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

 

“(ba)    

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

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  2

 

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”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  3

 

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

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Not called  46

 

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.”.


 
 

:                                             

10

 

, continued

 
 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Not called  47

 

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.”.

 

Clause, as amended, Agreed to.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  4

 

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)”

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Not called  42

 

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.”.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  5

 

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)”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  6

 

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

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  7

 

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

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  8

 

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


 
 

:                                             

11

 

, continued

 
 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  9

 

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”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  10

 

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

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  11

 

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

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Negatived on division  41

 

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

 

Agreed to  12

 

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

 

“Regulations under section 4”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  13

 

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.”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  14

 

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)”


 
 

:                                             

12

 

, continued

 
 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  15

 

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)”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  16

 

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

 

Clause, as amended, Agreed to.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Withdrawn  49

 

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

 

information that would include entire tax records”.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Not called  48

 

Clause  6,  page  8,  line  17,  at end insert—

 

“(2A)    

The Secretary of State may by order specify the information that Commissioners

 

are permitted to disclose.”.

 

Clauses 6 to 8 Agreed to.

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Negatived on division  51

 

Clause  9,  page  10,  line  21,  at end insert—

 

“(3A)    

Prior to the commencement of section (1) of the Export and Investment

 

Guarantees Act 1991, as amended, the Secretary of State shall—

 

(a)    

commission an independent assessment of the functions and powers of

 

UK Export Finance (UKEF);

 

(b)    

make a report to Parliament of steps to be taken in response to the

 

findings of the assessment referred to in paragraph (a);

 

(c)    

commission an assessment to determine actions to improve the

 

awareness of UKEF to small and medium-sized enterprises.”.

 

Clause Agreed to.


 
 

:                                             

13

 

, continued

 
 

Clause 10 Agreed to.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  17

 

Clause  11,  page  11,  line  30,  after “delivered” insert “on or in connection with

 

presentment or payment (including after presentment or payment or in connection with

 

dishonour for non-payment)”

 

Ian Murray

 

Mr Iain Wright

 

Toby Perkins

 

Withdrawn  50

 

Clause  11,  page  12,  line  8,  at end insert—

 

“(6)    

Where an instrument is presented for payment under this section, the responsible

 

bank will be required to ensure the validity of the electronic image as being from

 

the person who signed the cheque and mechanisms for this will be specified in

 

regulations under this section.”.

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  18

 

Clause  11,  page  13,  line  30,  at end insert—

 

“( )    

in relation to an instrument which is not a bill of exchange or promissory

 

note, references to the holder are to the payee or indorsee of the

 

instrument who is in possession of it or, if it is payable to bearer, the

 

person in possession of it.”

 

Matthew Hancock

 

Jo Swinson

 

Agreed to  19

 

Clause  11,  page  14,  line  19,  at end insert—

 

“( )    

The amendments made by this section have effect in relation to presentment of

 

instruments after it comes into force, including instruments created before that

 

time.”

 

Debbie Abrahams

 

Not selected  58

 

Clause  11,  page  14,  line  19,  at end insert—

 

PART 4A1

 

PROTECTION OF RETENTION MONIES IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

 

89A1  

Interpretation

 

(1)    

In this Part—

 

“adjudication” and “adjudicator” have the meaning given to it in section 108

 

of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1986 (as

 

amended).

 

“bank” has the meaning given to it by section 2 of the Banking Act 2009.


 
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