PROCEEDINGS OF THE COMMITTEE
RELATING TO THE REPORT
TUESDAY 16 JULY 2002
Mr John McFall, in the Chair
Mr Michael Fallon Dr
Mr David Laws Mr
Kali Mountford Mr
Mr George Mudie Mr
The Committee deliberated.
Draft Report (Banking, Consumers and Small Businesses) proposed by the Chairman, brought up and read.
Ordered, That the draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.
Paragraph 1 read, amended and agreed to
Paragraphs 2 to 5 read and agreed to.
Paragraph 6 read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraph 7 read and agreed to.
Paragraph 8 read, amended and agreed to.
A paragraph - (Kali Mountford) - brought up, read the first and second time, and inserted (now paragraph 9).
Paragraph 9 read as follows:
The "Universal Bank", operated through Post Offices, is intended to provide banking services to those people not currently served by financial institutions, often because of a poor credit history. The four largest clearing banks have agreed to make financial contributions towards the running of the "Universal Bank". However Barclays expressed the view that it is an off-balance-sheet tax on its shareholders and customers. Unlike Basic Bank accounts, the "Universal Bank" does not offer credit scoring, as a result it will be difficult for people to graduate from the "Universal Bank" account to a full bank account. The Committee welcomes the commitment of the major banks to the "Universal Bank". However, it recognises that the limited scope of services is likely to be of interest to a minority of potential banking customers, and will in practice for the most part be used for those unable to access banking services through a commercial service provider. The "Universal Bank" is likely to be a long-term commitment, as it will not be easy for people to graduate to full bank accounts, consequently the long-term success of the "Universal Bank" may rely upon the continuing strength of the Post Office network.
An Amendment made.
Another Amendment made, in line 9 by inserting after the word "Bank"" the words "but concludes that the "Universal Bank" is primarily an attempt to bolster Post Office business and to preserve access to pensions and benefits where such access would be lost by Post Office closures. Furthermore, we are concerned that this duplicates rather than complements the basic bank account.".
An Amendment proposed, after the words so inserted, to insert the words "We note the costs, incurred without legislation, on the larger clearing banks to fund the "Universal Bank".(Mr Michael Fallon.)
Question put, That the Amendment be made.
The Committee divided.
Mr Michael Fallon
Mr David Ruffley
Mr Andrew Tyrie
Mr David Laws
Mr George Mudie
Dr Nick Palmer
Mr James Plaskitt
Other Amendments made.
Paragraph, as amended, agreed to and divided (now paragraphs 10 and 11).
Paragraph 10 (now paragraph 12) read and agreed to.
Paragraph 11 (now paragraph 13) read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraphs 12 and 13 postponed.
Paragraph 14 read, amended and agreed to.
Postponed paragraph 12 again read.
Paragraph amended and agreed to (now paragraph 15).
Postponed paragraph 13 again read.
Paragraph agreed to (now paragraph 16).
Paragraphs 15 to 19 (now paragraphs 17 to 21) read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraphs 20 and 21 (now paragraphs 22 and 23) read and agreed to.
Another paragraph - (Mr Michael Fallon) - brought up, read the first and second time, and inserted (now paragraph 24).
Paragraph 22 (now paragraph 25) read and agreed to.
Paragraph 23 (now paragraph 26) read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraphs 24 to 29 (now paragraphs 27 to 32) read and agreed to.
Paragraphs 30 and 31 (now paragraphs 33 and 34) read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraphs 32 to 35 (now paragraphs 35 to 38) read and agreed to.
Paragraph 36 (now paragraph 39) read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraphs 37 to 39 (now paragraphs 40 to 42) read and agreed to.
Paragraph 40 (now paragraph 43) read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraphs 41 to 44 (now paragraphs 44 to 47) read and agreed to.
Paragraph 45 (now paragraph 48) read, amended and agreed to.
Paragraph 46 (now paragraph 49) read and agreed to.
Paragraphs 47 and 48 (now paragraphs 50 and 51) read, amended and agreed to.
Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations read and agreed to.
Resolved, That the Report, as amended, be the Fifth Report of the Committee to the House.
Ordered, That the Chairman do make the Report to the House.
Several Papers were ordered to be appended to the Minutes of Evidence.
Ordered, That the Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee be reported to the House.(The Chairman.)
[Adjourned to Thursday 18 July at half past Nine o'clock