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Banks: Meetings

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reasons no minutes were taken of the meetings between his Department’s officials and Ministers which took place on 13, 16, 20 and 31 October and 11 December 2008 at which the proposed merger between Lloyds TSB and HSBOS was discussed; and what his Department’s policy is on the minuting of meetings between (a) his Department’s officials and Ministers and (b) his Department’s Ministers or officials and private or public companies. (291361)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: The purpose of these meetings was to enable the relevant Ministers and officials to consider the substantive issues raised by this case and to ensure the Secretary of State was in a position to take properly informed final decisions in accordance with his statutory duties under the Enterprise Act 2002. No summary of outcomes from the meetings was required to ensure action was taken forward. Ministers had the appropriate material and relevant officials at the meetings. The conclusions reached are reflected either in the subsequent actions taken, advice to Ministers about the next steps, or are otherwise set out in public statements such as the final decision document which seeks to provide a clear summary of the reasons behind the decision. The Department does not have a specific policy on taking minutes of meetings though there is a general requirement to keep an appropriate record of all departmental business.