Previous Section Index Home Page

Sarwar v. Alam

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will make a statement on the implications of Sarwar v. Alam for funding arrangements of accident cases. [8664]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The findings of the Court of Appeal in Sarwar v. Alam are consistent with the >Government's policy that reasonable after the event insurance premiums reasonably incurred are recoverable items.

HMS Thetis

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will place in the Library a copy of the Admiralty and Secretariat case papers relating to the loss of HM Submarine Thetis, reference 3817, 1939, Appointment of Public Tribunal of Inquiry: various papers as brief for Treasury Solicitor including findings of Board of Inquiry under Commander in Chief 5488 vol. 1; 3818, 1939, reports of salvage and life saving services by Rear Admiral (Submarines) and others, 5488, vol. 2; 3819, 1939, Tribunal of Inquiry: minutes days 1–5, 5488; vol. 3; 3820, 1939, Tribunal of Inquiry: minutes days 6–10, 5488; vol. 3; 3821, 1939, Tribunal of Inquiry: minutes days 11–16, 5488, vol 5 and 3822, 1939, Tribunal of Inquiry: minutes days 17–20, 5488, vol 6. [8608]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The papers in question form part of the national archive and are held by the Public Record Office at Kew. They are freely available for inspection there. Details of opening hours, catalogue references and copying services are given on the PRO website at Because of the substantial nature of the documents in question, placing copies in the Library of the House would incur disproportionate cost.


Impounded Goods

Llew Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the operation of the appeals procedure used by Her Majesty's Customs and Excise in respect of the impounding of goods and transport vehicles deemed by customs officials to be in breach of the law governing imports into the United Kingdom; and how many staff are available to HM Customs and Excise to review appeals made against seizure of property and vehicles. [8872]

Mr. Boateng: All of Customs enforcement action is subject to legal appeal and challenge. The legality of any seizure can be challenged in the magistrates court. In addition, customs decisions not to restore vehicles or goods which have been seized can be appealed in the first instance to a customs review officer and then to the independent VAT and Duties Tribunal. Customs deploy approximately 60 staff years to deal with appeals and reviews.

Institutional Property Market

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to develop the securitisation of the institutional property market. [5999]

Ruth Kelly: Securitisation is used to raise capital for a variety of sectors. Its development is led by market practitioners and their customers. The Government's objectives include securing an innovative, fair dealing, competitive and efficient market in financial services, as described in the Treasury's most recent departmental report (Cm 5116). >

Money Laundering

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which London banks were found by the FSA to have handled funds stolen from Nigeria by General Sami Abacha; and which banks were criticised for lax money laundering controls. [7995]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The Banking Act 1987 restricts the FSA's ability to make its findings public. Under the new Financial Services and Markets Act, which comes into force on 1 December, the FSA will have wider powers to disclose this information.

Pension Policies

Chris Grayling: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the implications of the Equitable Life situation on his policy towards the regulation of with-profits pension policies. [8336]

Ruth Kelly: This is an issue which the inquiry being undertaken by Lord Penrose may wish to look at.

Suspicious Financial Transactions

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many referrals relating to suspicious financial transactions have been referred to NCIS in each year since 1997; and how many prosecutions have resulted from these referrals in each year. [8134]

Ruth Kelly: Since 1997 the Economic Crime Unit at NCIS has received the following numbers of suspicious transaction reports:

January to September 200119,981

Suspicious transaction reports are a vital part of NCIS and other law enforcement agencies intelligence gathering operations and the broader fight against financial crime. However, suspicious transaction reports may be only one small part of a complex investigation that ultimately leads to the arrest and conviction of individuals and the confiscation of assets. Suspicious transaction reports can provide new information and intelligence that can substantially move an investigation forward as well as providing an invaluable insight into the presence or whereabouts of assets for later confiscation. On occasions they may also simply provide confirmation of information already known to the investigators. This means, therefore, that isolating prosecutions that were the result of suspicious transaction reports from those that were not could not be achieved without disproportionate costs.

Article IV Reports

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if it is the policy of the Government to publish the UK's article IV reports to the IMF in future. [8136]

Ruth Kelly: As we said in our Annual Report to Parliament, "The UK and the IMF 1999–2000", the Government are committed to publishing IMF Article IV reports on the UK.


In August 2000, following a successful pilot project, the Executive Board of the IMF adopted a policy of voluntary publication of Article IV staff reports. The UK had participated in the pilot project, authorising publication of our 1999 Article IV report at the earliest opportunity. The UK's 2000 Article IV was published in February 2001, shortly after its conclusion. The Government believe that publication is an important step in enhancing the transparency and credibility of IMF surveillance and will continue to publish the UK's reports in the future. We will also continue to encourage other IMF member countries to do likewise.

Bank Disclosures

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action he will take to ensure disclosure by the banking sector of their lending patterns in under-invested communities; and if he will make a statement. [8262]

Ruth Kelly: In the November 2000 Pre-Budget Report and the Budget 2001 the Government stated that they were encouraging banks to disclose details of their individual lending activities in disadvantaged communities on a voluntary basis, and that this improved flow of information should help to identify barriers to and opportunities for growth. The Government also said that they would look at the obligations on banks in the contents of requirements placed on the sector more widely.

Working Hours

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress his Department made towards achieving a declining trend in excessive hours worked over the years 1999 and 2000. [8133]

Ruth Kelly: Information for 1999 and 2000 shows a small reduction in the number of hours worked in excess of conditioned hours for those staff working the most hours, measured against the baseline for the Public Service Agreement target. The information for the period January to August 2001 shows a marked reduction in the numbers of staff working in excess of conditioned hours in general.

Sudden Death Syndrome

Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his latest estimate of the number of people who die each year from sudden death syndrome. [8862]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Michael Foster, dated 23 October 2001:

Aid (Natural Disasters)

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many applications for financial aid for natural disasters in the UK have been made to the EU in each of the last five years. [8766]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested is not held centrally. Decisions to seek financing from the European Union are taken by Departments on an individual basis.

Next Section Index Home Page