To make the primary materials more accessible to fellow co-op law anaraks at this stage in the Parliamentary process, I have put a PDF of extracts from the Financial Services Bill 2012 & Explanatory Note on Mutual Society Registration online here.
I have not found time to analyse them and they are fairly straightforward. They empower HMT to transfer the registration function for industrial and provident societies, friendly societies and building societies from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) (a renamed FSA with fewer powers) and/or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) (a wing of the Bank of England dealing with banking regulation).
Subclause 47(3) allows complete flexibility for transfers to either or both and between them on an ongoing basis and subclause 47(4) allows the functions currently administered in Northern Ireland to be transferred to London.
I have not found the time to examine the proposed changes in any depth and the best place to look for that is probably the Draft Mutual Societies Order here .
In the House of Commons debate on the clause, an opposition amendment to encourage the collection of data on mutuals was lost.
However, the debate was well worthwhile. It was revealed that arch-Euro-sceptic Bill Cash, Tory MP for Stone, is a descendant of a founder of the Abbey National Building Society. We all remember what happened to that........
In fairness Mr Cash, who seems to believe that the main purpose of the Rochdale Pioneers in founding the world-wide co-operative movement was to help people to buy houses, pointed out that the Abbey National is now Santander. He expressed some concern about the possible implications of the link to Spanish banking system.
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