Amendments proposed to the Financial Services and Markets Bill, As Amended - continued House of Commons

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Statements of policy: procedure

   

Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer

NC26

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) Before issuing a statement of policy under section 99, the Authority must publish a draft of the proposed statement in the way appearing to the Authority to be best calculated to bring it to the attention of the public.

    (2) The draft must be accompanied by notice that representations about the proposal may be made to the Authority within a specified time.

    (3) Before issuing the proposed statement, the Authority must have regard to any representations made to it in accordance with subsection (2).

    (4) If the Authority issues the proposed statement it must publish an account, in general terms, of—

      (a) the representations made to it in accordance with subsection (2); and

      (b) its response to them.

    (5) If the statement differs from the draft published under subsection (1) in a way which is, in the opinion of the Authority, significant, the Authority must (in addition to complying with subsection (4)) publish details of the difference.

    (6) The Authority may charge a reasonable fee for providing a person with a copy of a draft published under subsection (1).

    (7) This section also applies to a proposal to alter or replace a statement.'.


Reports by Director General of Fair Trading

   

Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer

NC27

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) The Director must keep the regulating provisions and the Authority's practices under review.

    (2) If at any time the Director considers that—

      (a) a regulating provision or practice has a significant anti-competitive effect, or

      (b) two or more regulating provisions or practices taken together, or a particular combination of regulating provisions and practices, have such an effect,

    he must make a report to that effect.

    (3) If at any time the Director considers that—

      (a) a regulating provision or practice does not have any significant anti-competitive effect, or

      (b) two or more regulating provisions or practices taken together, or a particular combination of regulating provisions and practices, do not have any such effect,

    he may make a report to that effect.

    (4) A report under subsection (2) must include details of the anti-competitive effect.

    (5) If the Director makes a report under subsection (2) he must—

      (a) send a copy of it to the Treasury, the Competition Commission and the Authority; and

      (b) publish it in the way appearing to him to be best calculated to bring it to the attention of the public.

    (6) If the Director makes a report under subsection (3)—

      (a) he must send a copy of it to the Treasury, the Competition Commission and the Authority; and

      (b) he may publish it.

    (7) Before publishing a report under this section the Director must, so far as practicable, exclude any matter which relates to the private affairs of a particular individual the publication of which, in the opinion of the Director, would or might seriously and prejudicially affect his interests.

    (8) Before publishing such a report the Director must, so far as practicable, exclude any matter which relates to the affairs of a particular body the publication of which, in the opinion of the Director, would or might seriously and prejudicially affect its interests.

    (9) Subsections (7) and (8) do not apply in relation to copies of a report which the Director is required to send under subsection (5)(a) or (6)(a).

    (10) For the purposes of the law of defamation, absolute privilege attaches to any report of the Director under this section.'.


Consideration by Competition Commission

   

Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer

NC28

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) If the Director—

      (a) makes a report under section (Reports by Director General of Fair Trading)(2), or

      (b) asks the Commission to consider a report that he has made under section (Reports by Director General of Fair Trading)(3),

    the Commission must consider the matter.

    (2) The Commission must then make its own report on the matter unless it considers that, as a result of a change of circumstances, no useful purpose would be served by a report.

    (3) If the Commission decides in accordance with subsection (2) not to make a report, it must make a statement setting out the change of circumstances which resulted in that decision.

    (4) A report made under this section must state whether, in the opinion of the Commission—

      (a) the regulating provision or practice which is the subject of the report has a significant anti-competitive effect, or

      (b) the regulating provisions or practices, or combination of regulating provisions and practices, which are the subject of the report have such an effect.

    (5) A report under this section which states that, in the opinion of the Commission, there is a significant anti-competitive effect must also—

      (a) state whether the Commission considers that that effect is justified; and

      (b) if it states that the Commission considers that it is not justified, state its opinion as to the action, if any, that ought to be taken by the Authority.

    (6) Subsection (7) applies whenever the Commission is considering, for the purposes of this section, whether a particular anti-competitive effect is justified.

    (7) The Commission must ensure, so far as that is reasonably possible, that the conclusion it reaches is compatible with the functions conferred, and obligations imposed, on the Authority by or under this Act.

    (8) A report under this section must contain such an account of the Commission's reasons for—

      (a) any opinion which it has expressed in the report, and

      (b) if it has reached a conclusion on whether a particular anti-competitive effect is justified, that conclusion,

    as is expedient, in the opinion of the Commission, for facilitating proper understanding of that conclusion or opinion.

    (9) Schedule (Role of Competition Commission) supplements this section.

    (10) If the Commission makes a report under this section it must send a copy to the Treasury, the Authority and the Director.'.


Role of the Treasury

   

Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer

NC29

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) This section applies if the Competition Commission makes a report under section (Consideration by Competition Commission)(3) which states that in the opinion of the Commission there is a significant anti-competitive effect.

    (2) If the Commission's opinion, as stated in the report, is that the anti-competitive effect is not justified, the Treasury must give a direction to the Authority requiring it to take such action as may be specified in the direction.

    (3) But subsection (2) does not apply if the Treasury consider—

      (a) that, as a result of action taken by the Authority in response to the Commission's report, it is unnecessary for them to give a direction; or

      (b) that the exceptional circumstances of the case make it inappropriate or unnecessary for them to do so.

    (4) In considering the action to be specified in a direction under subsection (2), the Treasury must have regard to any opinion expressed by the Commission when it complied with section (Consideration by Competition Commission)(5)(b).

    (5) Subsection (6) applies if—

      (a) the Commission's conclusion, as stated in its report, is that the anti-competitive effect is justified; but

      (b) the Treasury consider that the exceptional circumstances of the case require them to act.

    (6) The Treasury may give a direction to the Authority requiring it to take such action—

      (a) as they consider to be necessary in the light of the exceptional circumstances of the case; and

      (b) as may be specified in the direction.

    (7) The Authority may not be required as a result of this section to take any action—

      (a) that it would not have power to take in the absence of a direction under this section; or

      (b) that would otherwise be incompatible with any of the functions conferred, or obligations imposed, on it by or under this Act.

    (8) Subsection (9) applies if the Treasury are considering—

      (a) whether subsection (2) applies and, if so, what action is to be specified in a direction under that subsection; or

      (b) whether to give a direction under subsection (6).

    (9) The Treasury must—

      (a) do what they consider appropriate to allow the Authority, and any other person appearing to the Treasury to be affected, an opportunity to make representations; and

      (b) have regard to any such representations.

    (10) If, in reliance on subsection (3)(a) or (b), the Treasury decline to act under subsection (2), they must make a statement to that effect, giving their reasons.

    (11) If the Treasury give a direction under this section they must make a statement giving—

      (a) details of the direction; and

      (b) if the direction is given under subsection (6), their reasons for giving it.

    (12) The Treasury must—

      (a) publish any statement made under this section in the way appearing to them best calculated to bring it to the attention of the public; and

      (b) lay a copy of it before Parliament.'.


Statements of policy: procedure

   

Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer

NC30

To move the following Clause:—

    '.—(1) Before issuing a statement under section 185, the Authority must publish a draft of the proposed statement in the way appearing to the Authority to be best calculated to bring it to the attention of the public.

    (2) The draft must be accompanied by notice that representations about the proposal may be made to the Authority within a specified time.

    (3) Before issuing the proposed statement, the Authority must have regard to any representations made to it in accordance with subsection (2).

    (4) If the Authority issues the proposed statement it must publish an account, in general terms, of—

      (a) the representations made to it in accordance with subsection (2); and

      (b) its response to them.

    (5) If the statement differs from the draft published under subsection (1) in a way which is, in the opinion of the Authority, significant, the Authority must (in addition to complying with subsection (4)) publish details of the difference.

    (6) The Authority may charge a reasonable fee for providing a person with a copy of a draft published under subsection (1).

    (7) This section also applies to a proposal to alter or replace a statement.'.

 
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Prepared 24 Jan 2000