Page last updated at 22:06 GMT, Monday, 10 December 2012

Financial Services Bill

On 10 December 2012 MPs agreed Lords amendments to the Financial Services Bill meaning the legislation will be sent for royal assent.

In the Lords, peers agreed to strengthen laws on payday loans. The government brought forward amendments to allow the interest rate on loans from payday companies to be capped.

The move followed a potential government defeat following an amendment by Labour's Lord Mitchell which had attracted cross-party support, including from the Bishops.

As MPs discussed the changes to the legislation, Labour's Stella Creasy, who has long-campaigned to tackle the cost of credit, welcomed the move.

But she claimed the new measures would not come into force in time to protect households struggling with Christmas and the rising cost of living, warning that 2013 was set to be a bumper year for "legal loan sharks".

Under the changes, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is set up by the bill, will be allowed to cap interest rates, stop excessive charges and limit the duration of a loan agreement.

Ms Creasy said the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) should take swift action now instead of waiting until the new FCA is in place.

Treasury Minister Greg Clark said the OFT will have the power to suspend a credit licence for lenders if "it thinks it's necessary".

He said the OFT will be required to "form an opinion rather simply regulate what has been in place so far".

The Financial Services Bill overhauls regulation of the financial services sector.

It gives the chancellor the power to veto decisions made by the Bank of England when dealing with bank bailouts and other interventions.

It will replace the so-called tripartite structure, introduced by the previous Labour government, under which oversight of the banking system is shared between the Bank of England, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Treasury.

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