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This note provides background to a Private Members Bill being introduced by Malcolm Wicks MP which has government support.

The main reforms proposed in the Bill are:

• to require new industrial and provident societies (other than credit unions) to be registered as co-operative or community benefit societies;

• to re-name the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts;

• to apply the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 to industrial and provident societies;

• to give the Treasury powers to apply to industrial and provident societies, with appropriate modifications, company law on investigation of companies, company names and dissolution and restoration to the register; and

• to give the Treasury powers to make provisions for credit unions corresponding to any provisions applying to building societies.

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