§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he will refer the clearing banks to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
§ Mrs. Sally Oppenheim
Reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission are normally a matter for the Director General of Fair Trading. I understand he has no plans to refer the services provided by the clearing banks to the Commission under the Fair Trading Act 1973. The clearing banks are parties to a number of restrictive agreements which have been registered and are being dealt with by the Director General in pursuance of his duty under the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976.