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Banking: Asset Protection Scheme

Volume 715: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Alistair Darling) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In my statement to the House, on 30 November, I said that I would provide Parliament with full details of the operation of the Asset Protection Scheme by 7 December. I am today placing copies of the legal agreements that have been signed with the Royal Bank of Scotland in the Libraries of both Houses, with redactions only in so far as they are necessary to protect commercial interests. Copies of these agreements will also be placed on HM Treasury’s website.

I am placing information on the assets covered by the scheme, drawn from HM Treasury due diligence, into the Libraries of both Houses. This information will also be placed on HM Treasury’s website.

In addition, I am today announcing the launch of the Asset Protection Agency (APA), an executive agency of HM Treasury. This follows the announcement on 25 September 2009 regarding the appointment of Stephan Wilcke as chief executive officer of the APA.

The APA’s role will be to manage the Asset Protection Scheme on behalf of HM Treasury, ensuring compliance with the scheme rules by the participating financial institution.

The overarching objectives of the APA are to run the scheme effectively and to ensure the participant maximises the economic value of the protected assets. Performance targets will be based on provision of timely information, identification of risks, and delivery of remedial action.

The CEO reports to Treasury Ministers and will provide them with any information needed in the course of parliamentary business. The APA will prepare and publish an annual report and accounts each year which will be laid before Parliament.

Treasury Ministers are accountable to Parliament for the work of the APA.

Further information on the role of the APA and relationship with HM Treasury is set out in the APA framework document, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The document is also accessible via the HM Treasury website at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk.