• Research Briefing

    Co-operative & Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Bill [HL] Bill No. 50

    The Bill requires new industrial and provident societies (other than credit unions) to be registered as co-operative or community benefit societies, re-names the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts, and applies the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 to industrial and provident societies. The Bill also gives the Treasury powers to apply company law on the investigation of companies, company names and dissolution and restoration to the register, to industrial and provident societies, and to make provisions for credit unions corresponding to any provisions applying to building societies.

  • Research Briefing

    Financial Services Bill : Committee Stage Report

    This is a report on the Committee Stage of the Bill. The Bill creates a Council for Financial Stability to co-ordinate the responsibilities and action of the Bank of England, Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Treasury with respect to financial stability. It also provides for collective consumer legal action to be taken in cases of multiple claimants against financial companies. The key debate at Committee Stage was on the structure of the regulatory system and the establishment of the Council for Financial Stability. One Government amendment was made to the Bill, which emphasised that the Bill had no retrospective impact upon executive remuneration contracts.

  • Research Briefing

    Competition and the banking crisis

    This note sets out to: provide information on state aid rules and assistance to the financial sector; explain some of the competition concerns relating to the banking crisis; and set out briefly the powers of the competition authorities to address such concerns.

  • Research Briefing

    Flood and Water Management Bill. Bill 9 2009-10.

    There has been growing pressure to introduce legislation to address the threat of flooding and water scarcity—both are predicted to increase with climate change. The Government published a draft Flood and Water Management Bill in April 2009, and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee undertook pre-legislative scrutiny of the document. The Committee welcomed a number of the proposals, but it was concerned that a lack of parliamentary time would undermine the introduction of a comprehensive Bill. The Government introduced a slimmed-down version of the Bill on 19 November 2009. Key features include measures to: require the Environment Agency to create a National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, which a number of organisations will have to follow; require lead local flood authorities to create Local Flood Risk Management Strategies; enable the Environment Agency and local authorities more easily to carry out flood risk management works; introduce a more risk-based approach to reservoir management; change the arrangements that would apply should a water company go into administration; enable water companies more easily to control non-essential uses of water, such as the use of hosepipes; enable water companies to offer concessions to community groups for surface water drainage charges; require the use of sustainable drainage systems in certain new developments; and, introduce a mandatory build standard for sewers.

  • Research Briefing

    Financial Services Bill. Bill 6 2009-10.

    This is the third piece of financial services legislation since 2007 to respond to the banking and financial crisis. It does however, include other measures designed to improve the position of financial services customers. It creates a Council for Financial Stability to co-ordinate the responsibilities and action of the Bank, FSA and Treasury with respect to financial stability matters. It enhances and extends the powers of the FSA and gives it new duties. Lastly, amongst other consumer protection measures, it provides for collective consumer legal action to be taken in cases of multiple claimants against financial companies. The Bill applies to the whole of the UK.

  • Research Briefing

    Newspaper and magazine distribution agreements: competition issues

    This note explains the competition issues associated with newspaper and magazine distribution agreements including: whether the distribution agreements which restrict distribution territories are compatible with competition law; the decision to let the National Newspaper Code of Practice lapse; and the OFT's September 2009 decision not to refer the sector to the Competition Commission

  • Research Briefing

    Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill [HL]: Committee Stage Report

    This report covers the Committee Stage of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill (HL) 2008-09. The Bill implements a number of community empowerment measuresoutlined in the white paper - Communities in control: real people, real power (Cm 7427). It also implements changes in relation to regional and sub-regional economic development and planning. See also Research Papers 09/45 and 09/46.

  • Research Briefing

    Icelandic Bank Default

    This note sets out the events surrounding the collapse of several Icelandic banks with branches in the UK. It looks at compensation arrangements and the impact of default on other groups.