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Foreign Exchange Services

Volume 974: debated on Thursday 29 November 1979

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions during each of the past five years authorisation for the operation of foreign exchange services has been withdrawn because of failure to observe the criteria laid down by the Bank of England.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many requests for authorisation to operate foreign exchange services have been made during each of the past five years for which figures are available; how many of these were granted; and how many refused.

The Bank of England granted 76 authorisations to run bureaux de change in 1976; 133 in 1977; 152 in 1978; and 139 up to 23 October 1979—including 43 of the National Giro-bank. The equivalent figures for 1975 and details of requests which were refused are not available.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure that the criteria laid down by the Bank of England for the operation of foreign exchange services are properly observed.

The Bank of England no longer lays down conditions under the Exchange Control Act 1947 for the operation of foreign exchange services, but I understand that banks have, for prudential purposes, been asked to exercise caution in their foreign exchange operations.