Thursday, 29 November 2012
The Financial Services Bill was debated for a fifth and final day at report stage yesterday in the House of Lords. Hansard, the official record of debate, is available here. One of the amendments tabled for consideration by Lord Mitchell was a clause concerning the power of the new Financial Conduct Authority. The amendment would permit the FCA to make rules "... that determine a maximum total cost for consumers of a product and determine the maximum duration of a supply of a product or service to an individual consumer". The amendment was made against the background of concern with so-called payday loans. It was withdrawn by Lord Mitchell in response to a commitment from the Government to introduce its own amendment (at third reading stage, scheduled for December 5) to give the FCA the power to impose a cap on the cost of credit and to prevent the rolling over of loans indefinitely. The Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent later this year or early in 2013.