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Banks (Regulation)

Volume 530: debated on Tuesday 21 June 2011

Last Thursday we published “A new approach to financial regulation: the blueprint for reform”, which sets out the Government’s proposals to reform financial regulation in the UK.

With a permanent annual levy worth £2.5 billion, tough rules on bonuses, a new deal on lending and regulatory responsibility returned to the Bank of England and handed to a new Financial Conduct Authority, is not the coalition making good progress in creating a sustainable banking system?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that we have made significant progress over the past year in getting the financial regulatory system back in good shape. Of course, the Opposition should remember that it was the shadow Chancellor who spent his time in office trumpeting the value of light-touch regulation across the world.

Will the Minister assure us that, in the context of his current work on regulation, the anomalous position of credit unions in Northern Ireland, which have much bigger memberships and funds than those in the rest of the UK but cannot offer the same range of services, will be addressed, along with industrial and provident societies in Northern Ireland, which are also in something of a regulatory black hole?

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. Work is under way to look at the regulatory position of Northern Ireland credit unions.