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Savings Gateway Scheme

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 24 January 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what agreement was reached between his Department and Halifax Bank of Scotland when setting up the Savings Gateway Scheme on the distribution to users of the scheme of mass mailed offers of credit. (117249)

Halifax has not mass mailed offers of credit to Saving Gateway customers. The contract between Halifax, DfES, HMRC and HMT states that members of the HBOS group will only market their own products at the specific request of the customer, unless the customer is an existing HBOS customer, in which case existing marketing arrangements will remain.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reason the size of the bonus paid into accounts through the Savings Gateway Scheme varies according to area. (117250)

The Saving Gateway is an account targeted at low-income households, delivering a strong incentive to save regularly through the Government matching money saved in the account. The first Saving Gateway pilot used a match rate of £1 for £1; however the second Saving Gateway pilot is testing the effects of alternative match rates of £1 for £1, £2 and £5 and contribution limits, initial endowments and the support of a range of financial education bodies.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions have taken place between his Department and Halifax Bank of Scotland on the type of account that money is transferred to on completion of the Savings Gateway Scheme. (117251)

On completion of the Saving Gateway, the participant’s money is transferred into a Halifax Liquid Gold account. This was proposed by HBOS in discussion with Treasury officials as it was an existing Saving account and the IT could be adapted quickly to accommodate the Saving Gateway pilot.