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FSA Act is facing last-ditch battle in Lords

The Financial Services and Markets Act may still come under attack from

Tory peers despite receiving Royal Assent last week.

The legislation which underpins the FSA, may become the first major piece

of legislation to have its fine print challenged in the House of Lords.

Tory peers do not rule out contesting the Act&#39s secondary legislation

which sets out how the Act is implemented and will cover the day-to-day

running of the regulator.

This legislation normally goes through on the nod.

Political commentators believe the Tories will break with tradition

because the House of Lords has been reformed and is no longer bound by past

conventions.

They also believe the Tory leadership in the Lords is upset about the

tactics used by the Government to push through the Act in its final stages,

including putting down hundreds of amendments at the last possible moment.

In the past, the Tory leader in the upper chamber, Lord Strathclyde has

said under some circumstances his party would have no problem breaking with

this tradition and challenging the Government.

A precedent was set when the Government tried to fasttrack secondary

legislation for the election of London mayor which was opposed.

A political commentator says: “The Tories have a compelling argument that

says all traditions died with the reformation of the House of Lords. The

Act is a major piece of legislation in terms of the impact on the financial

services community. The Tories could use the Lords to continue the debate

and challenge some aspects of secondary legislation.”

A Conservative Party spokesman says: “No decision will be made until we

see what secondary legislation the Government will come up with.”

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