Select Committee on Treasury Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 112-119)


6 JUNE 2007

  Q112 Chairman: Welcome to our follow-up inquiry into financial inclusion. Can you introduce yourselves, please, for the shorthand writer, starting with yourself, Mr Stewart?

Mr Stewart: Martin Stewart, I am the Group Finance Director of Park Group, plc.

  Mr Houghton: Chris Houghton, Group Managing Director of Park Group, plc.

  Mr Woods: Gary Woods. I am an Executive Director of Park Group plc and Managing Director of Park Retail.

  Q113  Chairman: We have three separate sessions this afternoon and we have you in for half an hour, so questions will be sharp and we will look for sharp answers from yourselves, so that if one person answers a question and then we move on. Can I start with looking at the issue of implementing Trust Accounts, your lawyers, the DTI and others have been involved since last November in negotiating this. What is the state of negotiations now in implementing these Trust Accounts?

  Mr Stewart: We have reached agreement with the DTI.

  Q114  Chairman: When did you reach agreement?

  Mr Stewart: On Monday this week—

  Q115  Chairman: Good, just before the Committee; that is good!

  Mr Stewart: --- as to the heads of terms of the Trust that will form the basis of the Trust Accounts that we will set up in the future. We have instructed our lawyers to start to draw up the Trust Deed itself and we anticipate that will take probably a couple of weeks to complete and we anticipate the whole process ready for Trust Accounts being set up.

  Q116  Chairman: Are there any outstanding issues at the moment then?

  Mr Stewart: Not that we are aware of, no; it is really just down to the lawyers to complete the preparation of the documents.

  Q117  Chairman: Therefore that is a copper bottomed guarantee that people's capital will be ring-fenced?

  Mr Stewart: Yes, we believe so, yes.

  Q118  Chairman: Pardon?

  Mr Stewart: Yes, we believe so.

  Q119  Chairman: You believe? Okay. When I read legal documents the believing and seeing are two different matters!

  Mr Stewart: No, it will be so, yes.

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