The Regulatory Reform Committee has agreed
to the following Report:
DRAFT REGULATORY REFORM
(CREDIT UNIONS) ORDER 2003
Report under Standing Order No.
1. The Regulatory Reform Committee has examined the
draft Regulatory Reform (Credit Unions) Order 2002 in accordance
with Standing Order No. 141. We recommend unanimously that the
draft order be approved.
2. On 16 December 2002 the Government laid the draft
order before Parliament, together with an explanatory statement
from HM Treasury (the Department).
We have already reported on the proposal for this order, which
would amend the Credit Unions Act 1979 by removing two restrictions
on credit unions and amending the regulation of the name "credit
union". The Act would be amended in order to:
- allow credit unions to charge fees for providing
additional basic services
- make the common bond requirements, governing
admission to membership, more flexible
- establish appropriate regulation on the use of
the name "credit union".
3. The House has instructed us to examine the draft
order against such of the criteria specified in Standing Order
No. 141(6) as are relevant. We are also required to consider the
extent to which the responsible Minister has had regard to any
resolution or report of the Committee or to any other representations
made during the period for parliamentary consideration.
Our discussion of matters arising from our examination is set
Findings of our previous report
4. We were satisfied that the draft order met all
but one of the criteria against which we are required to judge
it. The one outstanding concern we had about the proposal related
to a defectively drafted provision, new section 1(3B), as inserted
by article 3 of the draft order. We considered that the drafting
of this provision was ambiguous and could be improved. Consequently,
we recommended that a minor amendment should be made to the draft
order and that the amended draft order should be laid before the
5. The Department agreed with us that the drafting
of new section 1(3B) could be improved. It suggested replacing
the phrase "all of whom fulfil" with the phrase "each
of whom fulfils". We supported this suggestion.
The Department's response to our
6. Only one significant amendment has been made to
the draft order since the proposal was laid on 18 July 2002. In
accordance with our recommendation that new section 1(3B) would
benefit from a minor amendment, that provision has been amended
so that the phrase "all of whom fulfil" now reads "each
of whom fulfils". Several minor technical amendments have
also been made to the draft order.
7. On the basis of the explanatory statement,
we are satisfied that the responsible Minister has had due regard
to our previous report on the proposal for the draft order.
8. The Department states, in the explanatory statement,
that it is not aware of any other representations made during
the period for Parliamentary consideration.
9. In accordance with Standing Order No. 141(15),
we recommend unanimously that the draft order be approved.
1 Copies of the draft order are available to Members
of Parliament from the Vote Office and to members of the public
from the Department. The draft order is also available on the
Cabinet Office web site http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/regulation/act/proposals.htm. Back
Standing Order No. 141(7) Back