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Contingencies Fund Advance

Volume 572: debated on Wednesday 18 December 2013

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills wishes to report that a cash advance from the Contingencies Fund has been sought for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

The advance is required to meet an urgent cash requirement on existing services pending parliamentary approval of the 2013-14 supplementary estimate. The supplementary estimate seeks an increase in net cash requirement in order to facilitate the consumer credit fee rebate programme announced by the Government and to be operated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The OFT currently regulates the consumer credit market and this responsibility will transfer to the FCA from April 2014.

The Government have announced that, subject to certain eligibility criteria, OFT licence holders will qualify for a rebate of a proportion of the fees paid in recognition of the service that the OFT will not be able to provide after its closure on 31 March 2014.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £30 million will be sought in a supplementary estimate for the Office of Fair Trading. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £30 million will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.