Draft Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Professions) (Non-Exempt Activities) and (Designated Professional Bodies) Order 2001

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The Chairman: Perhaps I can assist the hon. Gentleman by saying that there was a mistake in the other order that needed to be corrected, which is why consideration of it has been postponed until Monday. I appreciate that it is inconvenient for Members to have to deal with the matter in such a way.

I have a list of those who have been selected for the Committee on Monday and, unfortunately, the hon. Gentleman's name does not appear upon it. If he contacts the usual channels as a matter of urgency, it may be possible for the Committee of Selection to correct that situation.

Sir Teddy Taylor: I am very grateful, Mr. Butterfill. As always, you show great kindness and understanding to us all. It is unhappy that, when one makes inquiries and lets it be known that one is worried about certain parts of an order, that order disappears. One is told that there is a mistake in it and then one is not chosen to sit on the Committee that is to consider it. That is not good at all. You, Mr. Butterfill, have kindly said that I could just turn up, but in that case I would not be able to vote. It is unfortunate, because there were five specific things in the order about which I was worried. I voice my concerns and the only consequence is that the order is withdrawn, apparently because there is a mistake in it. I then find that I am not on the Committee that is to consider it and cannot, therefore, express my views with a vote.

However, we will forget all about such things. I know the person who dragged the Labour Back Benchers in—I thought it was terrible, the way that he pushed them into the Room. However, the crucial thing is article 59, which deals with funeral contracts. The order states that if one breaks the rules, that is a criminal offence. We are not talking about something silly. If I enter into a funeral contract and I intend or expect the funeral to take place within a month, I could be prosecuted. We are not talking about fun. I hope that the Minister will say something. There were some other things that I was anxious to talk about, but I shall not be able to. If she could at least clarify this point, that might make things better.

The Chairman: The hon. Gentleman's views are understandable and I sympathise with them. I am sure that they will be conveyed to the usual channels. We will do whatever we can to deal with the situation.

Miss Melanie Johnson: Perhaps, following on from the remarks of the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East, I should first of all turn to his disappointment at not being able to deal with some of the issues that he wanted to raise. In response to his points about pre-paid funerals, the proposal is that they should be regulated unless the funds advanced are protected by a trust or insurance arrangements. That is the twofold form of protection that we are proposing. The limit of one month corresponds to funerals taking place imminently, and not to pre-paid funerals as they are generally defined. Pre-paid funerals are not arranged in anticipation that something will happen imminently. The expectation that someone is going to die is very different from their happening to die during the period that the hon. Gentleman is talking about. Article 59 was considered by a Committee as part of the consideration of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 on Thursday 15 March.

Sir Teddy Taylor: Did the Minister say that the measure had been considered, on 15 March?

Miss Johnson: The issues around article 59 relate to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001, which was considered in the House on Thursday 15 March—last week.

The hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) asked me first about amending the order. The answer is yes: if the scope of the order were to be expanded, that would have to be done by further affirmative resolution. We should certainly have to return to the House, but it would be possible to do so—that may be the assurance that the hon. Gentleman was seeking.

On the hon. Gentleman's second point about collective investment schemes, the definition of ``establishing'' in the regulated activities order has been clarified so that it is clear that a professional who simply drafts a constitution for the scheme would not be regarded as carrying on the activity. There is a read-across from that to some of the other similar questions that the hon. Gentleman asked. I trust that that resolves his queries. I commend the order to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.


    That the Committee has considered the draft Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Professions)(Non-Exempt Activities) Order 2001.



    That the Committee has considered the draft Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Designated Professional Bodies) Order 2001.—[Miss Melanie Johnson.]

        Committee rose at four minutes to Five o'clock.

The following Members attended the Committee:
Butterfill, Mr. John (Chairman)
Allen, Mr.
Cotter, Mr.
Efford, Mr.
Flight, Mr.
Johnson, Miss Melanie
Lammy, Mr.
McDonagh, Siobhain
Ryan, Ms
Taylor, Sir Teddy
White, Mr.

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