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Banks: Regulation

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings Ministers in his Department have held to review (a) capital ratios and (b) liquidity requirements for banks in the last three months. (249553)

As the Memorandum of Understanding between HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the FSA sets out, the tripartite authorities have regular meetings to work together towards the common objective of financial stability in the UK.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what provisions the Government is making for any future (a) losses and (b) capital requirement of banks in which UK Financial Investments has a stake; (249556)

(2) how his Department plans to account for any (a) profits earned and (b) losses sustained by (i) the Royal Bank of Scotland and (ii) Northern Rock.

UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the Government, manages the Government’s investments in the recapitalised banks but ownership of the shares of the recapitalised banks still lies with HM Treasury.

The Government will assess the need for any impairment or profit on our investments in the banks in accordance with our accounting policies and in accordance with the Financial Reporting Manual (FReM). Any amounts will be disclosed in HM Treasury’s Resource Accounts in due course.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what instructions the Government has issued to the Royal Bank of Scotland in the last six months; (249563)

(2) how many meetings Ministers in his Department have held with (a) staff and (b) directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland in the last six months.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings and discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings and discussions.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many meetings Ministers in his Department have had with (a) directors and (b) staff of Northern Rock since its entering into temporary public ownership; (249565)

(2) what the policy of Northern Rock is on the payment of bonuses to (a) staff and (b) directors in respect of (i) 2008 and (ii) 2009;

(3) how many (a) employees and (b) directors of Northern Rock were paid more than £100,000 in 2008;

(4) what Northern Rock’s level of mortgage lending is; and what it was in January 2008.

During this period of temporary public ownership, Northern Rock is managed by its Board at arm’s length from the Government on commercial principles. It is a matter for the company’s management to release specific business updates or provide any required disclosures in their audited annual report and accounts.

Under the Northern Rock Shareholder Relationship Framework Document the Government require that executive incentivisation be linked to delivery of the objectives set out in the business plan. Individual executive bonuses are for the Board’s Remuneration Committee to determine, taking account of performance against the objectives set in the business plan. Staff pay and incentivisation arrangements are a matter for the company.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what investigations (a) his Department, (b) the Bank of England and (c) the Financial Services Authority have made into securitisation practices (i) in the UK and (ii) by British companies internationally. (249657)

The tripartite authorities have been working in both national and international forums to produce analysis and policy recommendations on improving the operation of securitisation markets and enhancing transparency and valuation. Details of these can be found in ‘Financial stability and depositor protection: strengthening the framework’, published in January 2008 (Cm7308), ‘Financial stability and depositor protection: further consultation’, published in July 2008 (Cm7436). Furthermore, on 9 April 2008, the Chancellor announced that Sir James Crosby would provide advice to the Government on options for improving the function of mortgage finance markets, working closely with mortgage industry experts. This was published alongside the 2008 pre-Budget report on 24 November and sets out Sir James' recommendations.

The documents can be found at:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/financial_stability_depositor.htm

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/financial_stability_framework.htm

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/fin_mort_crosby.htm