Clause 20 - Return of surplus alternative scheme assets

Dormant Assets Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 10:00 am ar 11 Ionawr 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Clause 20 introduces a means for the reclaim fund to transfer additional surplus money from the alternative scheme back to the participant to be distributed to its chosen charity, in accordance with section 2 of the 2008 Act. The alternative scheme enables firms with balance sheets below £7 billion to transfer an agreed proportion of dormant account funds to the reclaim fund, and nominate a local or aligned charity to receive the surplus. As it has with the main scheme, Reclaim Fund Ltd may review, in time, the proportion of assets it reserves from the alternative scheme on an ongoing basis and, where prudent, reduce reserve rates to release surplus funds.

Currently, such surplus funds from the alternative scheme can go only to the National Lottery Community Fund. Clause 20 will ensure that the funds are directed to charities of the participants’ choice for the benefit of local communities, in line with the principles of the alternative scheme. Aside from this, the alternative scheme will remain as it is. I commend clause 20 to the Committee.

Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

Labour supports the provisions in clause 20 relating to the alternative scheme, which enables eligible smaller building societies and banks to support local causes of their choice. It is right that, if an authorised reclaim fund remodels the proportion of funds that it reserves for reclaims, any surplus money should go back to organisations participating in the alternative scheme, to be distributed to their chosen local charities.

We actively encourage authorised reclaim funds to assess whether a greater proportion of the fund could go to good causes, based on what we now know about how many people are likely to reclaim their assets and how they can manage their funds. That is the intention of Labour’s new clause 2, which we will discuss later. We support measures in the Bill that will allow that to work in practice.

Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

I do not have much further to add. I know that this topic will be debated later in Committee, but I completely agree with the principles that the hon. Gentleman outlines.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 20 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.