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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, no mortgagors would go unprotected because the Bill proposes, and we propose in regulation, that mortgage products will be covered. But the situation is worse than that. The amendment would bring far more than mortgage advice within the scope of the Bill. Anyone who advises on any loan would require authorisation provided that the loan was secured on some form of property. That is an extension of the power of what is being described as an "overweening authority" beyond anything I would have thought possible for noble Lords opposite to propose.

The noble Lord, Lord Newby, in a balanced speech, said that he could understand that in future it might be-- he believed that it probably would be--necessary to bring such advice into the scope of the Bill. Of course, as has already been made clear, it is always possible, by regulation, to bring mortgage advice within the scope of the Bill. However, I can give him an assurance that the Treasury will examine how the new measures play out in the market place. If, in a few years' time after implementation, borrowers experience significant and widespread problems that lie at the door of bad advice, rather than relying on opaque product terms, Ministers will have no hesitation in using their powers to extend the scope of statutory mortgage regulation.

Everything that we have seen and heard so far has persuaded the Government that the measures that they have put, and will be putting, in place with regard to mortgages are a proportionate and measured response to the need to protect borrowers from unfair or restrictive practices. At the same time, they do not

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saddle the industry with costs and delays which, in the long term, simply rebound on the consumer. I ask the noble Lord to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Kingsland: My Lords, I hope that the Minister will agree that any attempt by me to disguise the strength of feeling on this side of the House about this matter will be futile. I was surprised to hear the noble Lord the Minister say that it would lead to a large extension of the power and the responsibilities of the authority. I agree that it would lead to an extension of the responsibilities of the authority, but I do not see how that would lead also to an extension of power. It means simply that the authority would apply the same powers in a wider field.

As I understand it, the main reason for establishing the authority is to protect the consumer. The consumer needs protection in this, more than any other, area of financial activity. If the noble Lord the Minister had given me some encouragement to believe that, in a reasonable time under delegated legislation, those activities would be covered, I would be inclined to withdraw my amendment. He gave me no such encouragement. Therefore, in the circumstances, I feel obliged to press the amendment.

I am disappointed that the noble Lord, Lord Newby, is not with me. However, at least I am comforted by the thought that the fewer the men, the greater the share of honour. I wish to test the opinion of the House.

4.12 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 57) shall be agreed to?

*Their Lordships divided: Contents, 93; Not-Contents, 145.

Division No. 1

CONTENTS

Anelay of St. Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Bagri, L.
Barber, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blaker, L.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chilver, L.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cranborne, V.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dundee, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Hogg, B.
Holderness, L.
Howe, E.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Liverpool, E.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McCarthy, L.
McConnell, L.
MacFarlane of Bearsden, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Marlesford, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moynihan, L.
Northbrook, L.
Norton of Louth, L.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Seccombe, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wedderburn of Charlton, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Windlesham, L. [The votes of L. McCarthy and L. Wedderburn of Charlton in the Content Lobby were given in error.]

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Ahmed, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Diamond, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Eatwell, L.
Elder, L.
Ezra, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fitt, L.
Gale, B.
Gavron, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Hooson, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Judd, L.
Kennedy of The Shaws, B.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maddock, B.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Monson, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Newby, L.
Nicol, B.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Powell of Bayswater, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Redesdale, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roll of Ipsden, L.
Russell, E.
Sandberg, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Serota, B.
Sharman, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Shore of Stepney, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stallard, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

[*The Tellers for the Not-Contents reported 145 votes; the Clerks recorded 144 names.]

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

18 Apr 2000 : Column 580

4.22 p.m.

Lord Lipsey moved Amendment No. 58:


    Page 9, line 33, at end insert--


("( ) The Treasury shall within 28 days of the passing of this Act make provision under subsection (1) in respect of buying, selling, subscribing for, carrying out or underwriting contracts of insurance against the provision of long-term care or offering to do so, either as a principal or as an agent.").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, it has been said previously on this subject, at Second Reading and in Committee, that a boom in sales of the products covered by my amendment is to be expected when the Government respond to the Royal Commission on long-term care when it reports in July and it becomes clear that the Government cannot pay and will not pay for everything people require in their extreme old age.

These products are strong candidates for regulation: they are expensive; they are complicated, and once you are in you cannot get out; once you have bought it, you are stuck. They are sold in particular to vulnerable people or to people who may be at a particularly vulnerable stage in their lives, when they are going into care. There is therefore a wide consensus that they should be subject to regulation, which includes in its bounds the Personal Investment Authority, the FSA, the ABI, Age Concern, the Continuing Care Conference, the Burns committee which scrutinised this Bill before its introduction, Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

When this matter was raised by a number of noble Lords in Committee the Minister made encouraging noises in response. It might therefore be for the

18 Apr 2000 : Column 581

convenience of the House if we asked him to give us the result of his further deliberations right at the start of the debate. I beg to move.


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