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Lords urged to take time to improve bill

MPs are calling on the House of Lords to introduce much needed improvements to the Financial Services Bill.

The Treasury select committee says inadequate time was given to scrutiny of the bill as it passed through the House of Commons and peers must take the time to press for changes.

The committee’s report blames the lack of time on the Government’s commitment to pass the bill by the end of the year. It says the bill’s committee stage had just 16 sessions totalling 43 hours and left 23 clauses and three schedules undebated. That compares with 35 sessions lasting 89 hours given to the same stage for the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 which set up the FSA.

The bill’s report stage was originally set to last one day but was extended by three hours at the request of TSC chairman Andrew Tyrie.

The report says that was not enough and, as a result, amendments on corporate responsibility and the promotion of mutuals were not debated. It adds that some of those that were debated did not receive a detailed response from Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban.

It says: “It now falls to the House of Lords to take the time to improve the bill.”

The Lords debated the bill for the first time this week.

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