HL Deb 28 July 1981 vol 423 cc660-1

6 Leave out Clause 40 and insert the following new clause:"

"Attachment of debts

.—(1) Subject to any order for the time being in force under subsection (4), this section applies to the following accounts, namely—

  1. (a) any deposit account with a bank or other deposit-taking institution; and
  2. (b) any withdrawable share account with any deposit-taking institution.

(2) In determining whether, for the purposes of the jurisdiction of the High Court to attach debts for the purpose of satisfying judgments or orders for the payment of money, a sum standing to the credit of a person in an account to which this section applies is a sum due or accruing to that person and, as such, attachable in accordance with rules of court, any condition mentioned in subsection (3) which applies to the account shall be disregarded.

(3) Those conditions are—

  1. (a) any condition that notice is required before any money or share is withdrawn;
  2. (b) any condition that a personal application must be made before any money or share is withdrawn;
  3. (c) any condition that a deposit book or share-account book must be produced before any money 661 or share is withdrawn; or
  4. (d) any other prescribed condition.

(4) The Lord Chancellor may by order make such provision as he thinks fit, by way of amendment of this section or otherwise, for all or any of the following purposes, namely—

  1. (a) including in, or excluding from, the accounts to which this section applies accounts of any description specified in the order;
  2. (b) excluding from the accounts to which this section applies all accounts with any particular deposit-taking institution so specified or with any deposit-taking institution of a description so specified.

(5) Any order under subsection (4) shall be made by statutory instrument subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6) In this section, "deposit-taking institution" means any person carrying on a business which is a deposit-taking business for the purposes of the Banking Act 1979..".

The Lord Chancellor

My Lords, I beg to move that the House doth agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 6, and with this amendment I take Amendments Nos. 11, 42, 53, 71 and 72. I told the House at the Report stage that amendments to enlarge the scope of attachment of debt were in contemplation and that consultations were then entering a final phase. Happily the consultations were concluded in time for these amendments to be moved in another place, and the result is that the net by which a creditor may attach or "garnish" the money owed to his debtor may be more widely cast, so as to include all kinds of savings held by all kinds of deposit-taking institutions. The bigger fish which would be brought within the net by these amendments would include building societies, the Trustee Savings Bank and the National Savings Bank. I understand that no voice has been raised outside against the proposals and many voices have been heard in favour. Rules of court will be needed, but consultations on these have already begun. My Lords, I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said amendment.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

Lord Elwyn-Jones

My Lords, I doubt whether the big fish referred to will be very pleased with these amendments, but it seems equitable that they, too, should be caught in the net.

On Question, Motion agreed to.