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Small Business, Enterprise and Employment BillPage 10

8 Disclosure of VAT registration information

(1) The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs may disclose to
a person (“P”) any of the information included in the VAT registration of
another person (“V”) if the disclosure is for the purpose of enabling or assisting
5P to assess—

(a) V’s creditworthiness,

(b) V’s compliance with regulatory requirements relating to financial
matters, or

(c) the risk of fraud by V.

(2) 10But subsection (1) does not authorise the Commissioners to disclose any
information which is, in the Commissioners’ view, financial information
relating to any business carried on by V.

(3) If VAT registration information is disclosed to a person in accordance with
subsection (1), that person must not further disclose any of the information
15unless the Commissioners consent to the disclosure.

(4) If VAT registration information is disclosed to a person in accordance with
subsection (3) or this subsection, that person must not further disclose any of
the information unless the Commissioners consent to the disclosure.

(5) A person does not contravene subsection (3) or (4) by disclosing a financial
20assessment made wholly or partly in reliance on the VAT registration
information, if the financial assessment itself does not include any VAT
registration information.

(6) If VAT registration information is disclosed to a person in accordance with
subsection (1), (3) or (4), that person must not use that information except for
25the purposes of making a financial assessment.

(7) A person does not contravene subsection (6) by using, for any purpose, a
financial assessment made wholly or partly in reliance on the VAT registration
information.

(8) The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs may make
30arrangements with any person about disclosures of information to that person
(the “recipient”) under subsection (1).

(9) The arrangements may (in particular) provide for—

(a) a fee to be payable by the recipient for the disclosure of information;

(b) conditions to apply to the recipient in relation to information disclosed
35(including conditions relating to the transfer, holding and processing of
the information);

(c) financial penalties to be payable by the recipient for a failure to meet
conditions which apply to the recipient under the arrangements.

(10) The Treasury may, by regulations, amend this section so that it authorises the
40Commissioners to disclose VAT registration information included in a
person’s VAT registration for additional purposes.

(11) In this section—

(12) Regulations under this section are subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

9 5Offences for the purposes of section 8

(1) A person commits an offence if the person discloses information in
contravention of section 8(3) or (4).

(2) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to
prove that the person reasonably believed that the disclosure of the
10information was lawful.

(3) A person commits an offence if the person uses information in contravention
of section 8(6).

(4) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (3) to
prove that the person reasonably believed that the use of the information was
15lawful.

(5) Section 19(4) to (7) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005
apply to an offence under this section as they apply to an offence under section
19 of that Act.

(6) This section is without prejudice to the pursuit of any remedy or the taking of
20any action in relation to a contravention of section 8(1), (3), (4) or (6) (whether
or not this section applies to the contravention).

Exports

10 Disclosure of exporter information

(1) The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs may, by
25regulations, make provision authorising officers of Revenue and Customs to
disclose prescribed information about the export of goods from the United
Kingdom.

(2) In subsection (1) “prescribed information” means information of a kind that is
prescribed in the regulations.

(3) 30But the regulations may only prescribe the following kinds of information—

(a) the commodity code of goods that have been exported from the United
Kingdom (a “prescribed code”);

(b) a description of the category of goods covered by a prescribed code;

(c) the names and addresses of persons who have exported goods covered
35by a prescribed code;

(d) the years and months in which a particular person has exported goods
covered by a prescribed code.

(4) Regulations under this section may make such provision as the Commissioners
think appropriate in connection with the provision authorising officers of
40Revenue and Customs to disclose prescribed information (including provision
about the manner in which information may be disclosed).

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(5) In this section “commodity code” means a code or other identifier applied to a
category of goods in connection with the preparation of statistics on exports
from the United Kingdom (whether or not it is also applied for other purposes).

(6) Regulations under this section are subject to negative resolution procedure.

11 5Power of the Secretary of State under section 1 of the EIGA 1991

(1) Section 1 of the Export and Investment Guarantees Act 1991 (assistance in
connection with exports of goods and services) is amended as follows.

(2) For subsections (1) and (1A) substitute—

(1) The Secretary of State may make arrangements under this section
10which the Secretary of State considers are conducive to supporting or
developing (whether directly or indirectly) supplies or potential
supplies by persons carrying on business in the United Kingdom of
goods, services or intangible assets (including intellectual property) to
persons carrying on business outside the United Kingdom.

(3) 15After subsection (4) insert—

(5) The arrangements that may be made under this section also include the
provision of advice or information.

(4) For the heading of the section substitute “Arrangements for the support and
development of supplies, etc”.

12 20EIGA 1991: further amendments

(1) The Export and Investment Guarantees Act 1991 is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (1) of section 6 (limit on the Secretary of State’s commitments
under the Act) for paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute “67,700 million special
drawing rights”.

(3) 25In subsection (3) of that section, for paragraphs (a) and (b) substitute “26,200
million special drawing rights”.

(4) In subsection (4) of that section—

(a) in paragraph (a)—

(i) for “either of the limits” substitute “the limit”;

(ii) 30omit “£5,000 million or, as the case may be,”;

(b) in paragraph (b)—

(i) for “either of the limits” substitute “the limit”;

(ii) omit “£3,000 million or, as the case may be,”;

(c) omit “but the Secretary of State shall not in respect of any limit exercise
35the power on more than three occasions”.

(5) At the end of subsection (4) of that section, insert “after the commencement of
section 12 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015”.

(6) After subsection (4) of that section insert—

(4A) The Secretary of State must not in respect of either limit mentioned in
40subsection (4) exercise the power to make an order on more than three
occasions.

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(7) In subsection (5) of that section—

(a) omit paragraphs (c) and (d);

(b) in paragraph (e) omit “in foreign currency”.

(8) In subsection (6) of that section, for “(1)(b) or (3)(b)” substitute “(1) or (3)”.

(9) 5In section 7(2) of that Act (reports and returns), leave out “in sterling and in
foreign currency”.

(10) In section 13 of that Act (Export Credits Guarantee Department and Export
Guarantees Advisory Council), omit subsection (4).

Presentment of cheques etc

13 10 Electronic paying in of cheques etc

(1) The Bills of Exchange Act 1882 is amended as follows.

(2) After section 89 insert—

Part 4A Presentment of cheques and other instruments by electronic means
89A 15Presentment of instruments by electronic means

(1) Presentment for payment of an instrument to which this section applies
may be effected by provision of an electronic image of both faces of the
instrument, instead of by presenting the physical instrument, where—

(a) the presentment is made by or to a banker, and

(b) 20the person to whom presentment is made accepts the
presentment as effective.

This is subject to section 89C.

(2) Where presentment for payment is made under subsection (1)—

(a) any requirement—

(i) 25that the physical instrument must be exhibited,
presented or delivered on or in connection with
presentment or payment (including after presentment
or payment or in connection with dishonour for non-
payment), or

(ii) 30as to the day, time or place on or at which presentment
of the physical instrument may be or is to be made, and

(b) any other requirement which is inconsistent with subsection (1),

does not apply.

(3) Subsection (2) does not affect any requirement as to the latest time for
35presentment.

(4) References in subsections (2) and (3) to a requirement are to a
requirement or prohibition, whether imposed by or under any
enactment, by a rule of law or by the instrument in question.

(5) Where an instrument is presented for payment under this section—

(a) 40any banker providing the electronic image,

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(b) any banker to whom it is provided, and

(c) any banker making payment of the instrument as a result of
provision of the electronic image,

are subject to the same duties in relation to collection and payment of
5the instrument as if the physical instrument had been presented.

That is subject to any provision made by or under this Part.

That is subject to any provision made by or under this Part.

89B Instruments to which section 89A applies

(1) Subject to subsection (2), section 89A applies to—

(a) 10a cheque, or

(b) any other bill of exchange or any promissory note or other
instrument—

(i) which is intended by the person creating it to enable a
person to obtain payment from a banker indicated in it
15of the sum so mentioned,

(ii) payment of which requires the instrument to be
presented, and

(iii) which, but for section 89A, could not be presented
otherwise than by presenting the physical instrument.

(2) 20Section 89A does not apply to any banknote (within the meaning given
in section 208 of the Banking Act 2009).

(3) The reference in subsection (1) to the person creating an instrument is—

(a) in the case of a bill of exchange, a reference to the drawer;

(b) in the case of a promissory note, a reference to the maker.

(4) 25For the purposes of subsection (1)(b)(i) an indication may be by code or
number and need not indicate that payment is intended to be obtained
from the banker.

89C Banker’s obligation in relation to accepting physical instrument for
presentment

30Provision of an electronic image of an instrument does not constitute
presentment of the instrument under section 89A if the arrangements
between—

(a) the banker authorised to collect payment of the instrument on
behalf of a customer, and

(b) 35that customer,

do not permit the customer to pay in the physical instrument but
instead require an electronic image to be provided (whether to that
banker or to any other banker).

89D Compensation in cases of presentment by electronic means

(1) 40The Treasury may by regulations make provision for the responsible
banker to compensate any person for any loss of a kind specified by the
regulations which that person incurs in connection with electronic
presentment or purported electronic presentment of an instrument.

(2) In subsection (1) “electronic presentment or purported electronic
45presentment of an instrument” includes—

(a) presentment of an instrument to which section 89A applies
under that section;

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(b) presentment of any other instrument by any means involving
provision of an electronic image by which it may be presented
for payment;

(c) purported presentment for payment by any means involving
5provision of an electronic image of an instrument that may not
be presented for payment in that way;

(d) provision, in purported presentment for payment, of—

(i) an electronic image that purports to be, but is not, an
image of a physical instrument (including an image that
10has been altered electronically), or

(ii) an electronic image of an instrument which has no legal
effect; or

(e) provision, in presentment or purported presentment for
payment, of an electronic image which has been stolen.

(3) 15In this section, the “responsible banker”, in relation to electronic
presentment or purported electronic presentment of an instrument,
means—

(a) the banker who is authorised to collect payment of the
instrument on a customer’s behalf, or

(b) 20if the holder of the instrument is a banker, that banker.

(4) In this section—

(a) references to an instrument include references to an instrument
which has no legal effect (whether because it has been
fraudulently altered or created, or because it has been
25discharged, or otherwise);

(b) in relation to an electronic image which is not an image of a
physical instrument, references to the instrument are to a
purported instrument (of which it purports to be an image); and

(c) in relation to an instrument which is not a bill of exchange or
30promissory 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.

(5) Regulations under this section may in particular make provision for—

(a) the responsible banker to be required to pay compensation
35irrespective of fault;

(b) the amount of compensation to be reduced by virtue of
anything done, or any failure to act, by the person to whom
compensation is payable.

(6) Nothing in this section or regulations under it is to be taken to—

(a) 40prevent the responsible banker claiming a contribution from
any other person, or

(b) affect any remedy available to the responsible banker in
contract or otherwise.

(7) Except so far as regulations under this section provide expressly,
45nothing in this section or regulations under it is to be taken to affect any
liability of the responsible banker which exists apart from this section
or any such regulations.

(8) Regulations under this section may—

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(a) include incidental, supplementary and consequential
provision;

(b) make transitory or transitional provision or savings;

(c) make different provision for different cases or circumstances or
5for different purposes;

(d) make provision subject to exceptions.

(9) The power to make regulations under this section is exercisable by
statutory instrument.

(10) An instrument containing the first regulations to be made under this
10section may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid
before, and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(11) An instrument containing any other regulations under this section is
subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of
Parliament.

(3) 15In section 52(4) (bills of exchange: duties of holder on presentment and
payment), at the beginning insert “Subject to Part 4A (presentment by
electronic means),”.

(4) Omit sections 74B and 74C (which provide for alternative means of
presentment of cheque for payment by banker).

(5) 20In section 87 (promissory notes: presentment for payment), at the end insert—

(4) This section is subject to Part 4A (presentment by electronic means).

(6) 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.

25Payment systems

14 Powers of the Payment Systems Regulator

(1) Part 5 of the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (regulation of
payment systems) is amended as follows.

(2) Section 58 (power to require disposal of interest in payment system) is
30amended as provided in subsections (3) and (4).

(3) In subsection (1), for the words following “interest in” substitute

the operator of a regulated payment system, or

(b) an infrastructure provider in relation to such a system,

to dispose of all or part of that interest.

(4) 35After subsection (2) insert—

(2A) The reference in subsection (2) to a restriction or distortion of
competition includes, in particular, a restriction or distortion of
competition—

(a) between different operators of payment systems,

(b) 40between different payment services providers, or

(c) between different infrastructure providers.

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(5) In section 108 (relationship with Part 8 of the Payment Services Regulations
2009), in subsection (1)—

(a) for “this Part” substitute “sections 54 to 58”,

(b) for “obtain access to, or otherwise participate in,” substitute “obtain
5direct access to”, and

(c) for “does not apply” substitute “applies”.

Part 2 Regulatory reform

Streamlined company registration

15 10Target for streamlined company registration

(1) The Secretary of State must secure that, by no later than 31st May 2017, a
system for streamlined company registration is in place.

(2) For the purposes of this section and section 16, a system for streamlined
company registration is a system which enables all of the registration
15information to be delivered by or on behalf of a person who wishes to form a
company after 31st May 2017—

(a) on a single occasion to a single recipient, and

(b) by electronic means.

(3) “Registration information” means—

(a) 20the documents which must be delivered to the registrar under section
9 of the Companies Act 2006 (registration documents) in respect of the
formation of a company;

(b) the documents or other information which must or may be delivered to
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in respect of registration of a
25company for purposes connected with VAT, corporation tax and
PAYE.

(4) In this section—

16 Streamlined company registration: duty to report on progress

(1) The Secretary of State must prepare a report before the end of each reporting
35period about the progress that has been made during that period towards
putting in place a system for streamlined company registration.

(2) The following are reporting periods—

(a) the period beginning with the day on which this section comes into
force and ending on 31st March 2016;

(b) 40the subsequent period of 12 months ending on 31st March 2017.

(3) The first report must set out the steps which the Secretary of State expects will
be taken during the next reporting period towards putting the system in place.

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(4) Both reports must include the Secretary of State’s assessment as to when the
system for streamlined company registration will be in place.

(5) The second report must include an assessment of what steps, if any, the
Secretary of State expects to take to put in place a system for the streamlining
5of other information delivery processes relating to businesses.

(6) The Secretary of State must—

(a) publish each report, and

(b) lay each report before Parliament.

Review of business appeals procedures

17 10Review of regulators’ complaints and appeals procedures

(1) A Minister of the Crown must appoint a person for the purposes of this section
in respect of each regulatory function to which this section applies (see section
18).

(2) A person so appointed (a “reviewer”) must, in relation to each regulatory
15function in respect of which the appointment is made—

(a) review the effectiveness during each reporting period of the
procedures (both formal and informal) of the relevant regulator for
handling and resolving complaints and appeals made by businesses to
the regulator in connection with the exercise by the regulator of the
20function, and

(b) prepare a report about the findings of the review.

(3) In this section “relevant regulator”, in relation to a regulatory function, means
the person who exercises the function.

(4) The report may include in particular—

(a) 25an assessment of the extent to which the relevant regulator’s
procedures of the kind mentioned in subsection (2)(a) are accessible
and fair to businesses;

(b) recommendations to the relevant regulator about how the procedures,
or the way in which they are operated, could be improved;

(c) 30recommendations to the Minister of the Crown who appointed the
reviewer for any change in the law which the reviewer considers would
lead to improvements in the procedures or their operation.

(5) The report must not address, and the reviewer must not make any
recommendation in relation to, the outcome of any particular case.

(6) 35For the purposes of this section, each of the following is a reporting period—

(a) the period of 12 months beginning with the day on which the reviewer
is appointed;

(b) each subsequent period of 12 months.

(7) The reviewer must send the report to the relevant regulator and (if different)
40the Minister of the Crown who appointed the reviewer as soon as reasonably
practicable after the end of the reporting period.

(8) Before the end of the period of 3 months beginning with the day on which the
relevant regulator receives the report, the regulator must—

(a) prepare a response and send it to the reviewer, and

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(b) if the relevant regulator is not the Minister of the Crown who appointed
the reviewer, send it to the Minister.

(9) The Minister of the Crown must—

(a) publish the report and the response, and

(b) 5lay them before Parliament.

(10) The reviewer may by notice require the relevant regulator to provide such
documents or other information, in such form or manner as the reviewer may
direct, as the reviewer may require for the purpose of exercising functions
under this section.

(11) 10Subsection (10) is subject to any express restriction on disclosure imposed by
another enactment (ignoring any restriction which allows disclosure if
authorised by an enactment).

(12) In this section “Minister of the Crown” has the same meaning as in the
Ministers of the Crown Act 1975.

18 15Power to specify regulatory functions

(1) The Secretary of State may by regulations specify regulatory functions as
functions to which section 17 applies.

(2) “Regulatory function” has the same meaning in this section and section 17 as
in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 (see section 32(2) to (4) of
20that Act).

(3) Regulations under this section may, in particular, specify a regulatory function
by reference to—

(a) the person who exercises the function;

(b) the enactment under or by virtue of which it was conferred.

(4) 25Regulations under this section must not specify a regulatory function which
is—

(a) a Scottish devolved function, that is to say a function the exercise of
which would be within devolved competence (within the meaning of
section 54 of the Scotland Act 1998),

(b) 30a Northern Ireland devolved function, that is to say a function which
could be conferred by provision included in an Act of the Northern
Ireland Assembly made without the consent of the Secretary of State
(see sections 6 to 8 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998), or

(c) a Welsh devolved function, that is to say a function which could be
35conferred by provision falling within the legislative competence of the
National Assembly for Wales (see section 108 of the Government of
Wales Act 2006).

(5) Regulations under this section are subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

19 Guidance by the Secretary of State

(1) 40The Secretary of State may issue guidance to reviewers as to the exercise of
functions under section 17.

(2) A reviewer must, in exercising any of those functions, have regard to any
guidance for the time being in force under this section.

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