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Myners calls for class actions to be dropped from Bill

City minister Lord Myners (pictured) has submitted amendments to the Financial Services Bill that would scrap proposals to allow class actions against financial institutions.

In March Money Marketing revealed that the Financial Services Bill could prompt US-style class actions against advisers, opening the floodgates to unmerited claims from consumers and claim-chasers.

City law firm Beachcroft says as part of the rush to get the Bill enacted before Parliament is dissolved, Myners has put forward amendments to remove clauses 18 to 25 from the Bill.

The House of Lords’ amendments are due to be considered in the House of Commons this week and the Bill will have to be finalised by Monday, April 12 when Parliament is dissolved.

Beachcroft financial services partner Mathew Rutter says: “When the Bill was first published, we called it a dangerous cocktail.  With some of the more toxic elements removed and some equally dangerous amendments headed off, the Act is not as lethal as it might have been.

“We are delighted that pressure from the financial services sector and from firms such as Beachcroft on this issue appears to have been successful. This will come as a great relief to firms, not because they oppose the principle of redress for consumers, but because these provisions had not been fully thought through and much of the detail needed to assess them was missing. 

“However, the tide seems to be turning in favour of class actions in some form in the UK, so this is unlikely to be the last we hear of them.”


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