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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for his comments. CRESTCo is the corporate security settlement service which was recommended by the Bank of England security settlement priorities review and received near unanimous support from the market. The Government were not involved in the setting up of the Central Gilts Office and legislation necessary to facilitate its setting up was not expressed in terms which required a continuing operational involvement by the Bank.
CRESTCo is a recognised clearing house under the Financial Services Act 1986 and is the operator of the relevant system approved under the uncertificated securities regulations of 1995. The public interest in CRESTCo is catered for by the appointment of Mr. Mike Williams, the chief executive of the debt management office, and Mr. Alastair Clark, an executive director of the Bank of England, to the board of CRESTCo.
The noble Lord referred to the fact that the settlements tend to take place by computer nowadays and the consequent risk of the millennium bug. I can assure him that hard copy records will be maintained. I am not saying that nothing will go wrong; I never say that about the millennium bug. But the noble Lord's specific fear about the lack of hard copy is covered in the plans.
Does the noble Lord really want me to read out the other five orders? They have terribly complicated names. They were listed in the House of Commons procedures on 21st April which the noble Lord can inspect if he so wishes. I commend the regulations to the House.
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