§ Mr. Nelson
As I announced on 29 March in answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Bournemouth, West (Mr. Butterfill), I authorised Equitas on that day.
§ Mr. Timms
I think the Minister will confirm that this will be the biggest single reinsurance transaction in history. Given that his approval was only conditional when he made his announcement on 29 March, can he tell us when he expects to be in a position to consider giving full authorisation to the project and what he will require before he does that?
§ Mr. Nelson
As the hon. Gentleman will know, there were a number of conditions precedent to the full authorisation of Equitas. It will require principally a vote of the names to support the reconstruction recovery programme and the paying in of sufficient funds to capitalise Equitas not only to meet its long-term liabilities under the policies but to provide the sufficient margin of solvency that I am required to be satisfied about under the Insurance Companies Act 1982. I have set out those requirements and criteria carefully and I hope that the matters can be decided on by the autumn. That is a matter not for me but for Lloyds and Equitas in particular. When they come back to me, I will have to consider whether the conditions have been met and whether full authorisation can be granted.