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Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 226ZA:

("The Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 (c. 27)
. In paragraph 10 of Schedule 5 to the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 (proceedings excluded from the operation of Schedule 4 to that Act), for "section 188 of the Financial Services Act 1986" substitute "section (Jurisdiction in civil proceedings) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000".").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Schedule 21 [Repeals]:

Lord Hunt of Wirral moved Amendment No. 226A:

    Page 282, line 12, at end insert--

    ("1923 c. 8.The Industrial Assurance Act 1923. The whole Act.
    1948 c. 39.The Industrial Assurance and Friendly Societies Act 1948.") The whole Act.

The noble Lord said: My Lords, it must be a special privilege to have the honour of opening the final debate on the third day of the Report stage of the Financial Services and Markets Bill at just after 25 minutes to two. I thank the Government most warmly for giving me this opportunity. On several occasions in the other place assurances were given about the repeal of the industrial assurance Acts. I have been carefully watching the Order Paper over the past few weeks, but sadly no government amendments to the necessary effect have yet been tabled.

I do not expect to speak for more than 45 minutes! However, to be clear about this matter, the industrial assurance Acts of 1923 and 1948 once provided consumers with a necessary degree of protection for those buying low premium life assurance policies where premiums are paid in cash to company agents visiting someone's home. Those days are now over and save for one small area that I shall cover, those Acts are now an encumbrance and not a protection. The Acts, for example, forbid the conversion of the collection of premiums by standing order or direct debit and that severely damages the value that policyholders ultimately receive.

However, for existing policyholders the Acts provide certain protection where the assurance contract confers a right to the policyholder that has a monetary value. One example is the written notices that have to be sent to policyholders before a policy can be terminated. I acknowledge that that protection will have to be re-enacted in a suitable form, either in the FSA's rules or in a statutory instrument. In the meantime, I cannot see any reason why those Acts should not be included to be repealed when the Bill becomes an Act. I beg to move.

Lord Bach: My Lords, at this hour I can hardly do anything other than respond positively to the amendment of the noble Lord. It would be churlish to do otherwise. I can respond by assuring him of the Government's continued commitment to the repeal of the industrial assurance Acts. The Acts impose restrictions on the conduct of home services assurance businesses that are necessary, particularly given the nature of the powers to be conferred on the authority more generally by the Bill.

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The constraints under the existing statutory framework are driving providers out of the market. That, in turn, means that those who are most likely to benefit from the kinds of services provided by home services are being denied access to valuable products to help them to save and provide for their futures.

In other debates we have explained that the Government are committed to taking practical steps to help disadvantaged consumers and repeal of much of this legislation is one such measure that we shall adopt. The amendment before the House may not be adequate because it will be necessary to make certain savings to the industrial assurance Acts for existing policies. That will be necessary because those Acts confer certain rights on policyholders and must be protected. However, I can tell the noble Lord that the Government will bring forward an amendment at Third Reading that will include provisions to ensure that the Acts cease to have effect while enabling any necessary savings to be made.

Lord Hunt of Wirral: My Lords, even at this late hour, I must say to the Minister how warmly I appreciate his generous words. I fully accept what he

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has said and I look forward to seeing the amendment when it is brought forward at Third Reading next week. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendments Nos. 227 and 228:

    Page 283, line 2, column 3, at beginning insert--

    ("In section 13, subsections (2) to (5), (8) and (11).")

    Page 283, line 2, column 3, at end insert--

    ("In section 52, subsection (2)(d) and, in subsection (5), the words from "or where" to the end.
    Schedule 7.
    In Schedule 8, paragraph 3(2).")

The noble Lord said: My Lords, these amendments were spoken to with Amendment No. 176. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

        House adjourned at eighteen minutes before two o'clock.

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