§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether transfers by certain banks of profits to inner reserves are a matter entirely at the discretion of the directors of such concerns or whether they are monitored by the Bank of England and the Inland Revenue and his Department both yearly and cumulatively.
§ Mr. Eyre
Whether advantage is taken of exemptions granted to banking or discount companies under paragraph 23 of schedule 8 to the Companies Act 1948 is a matter for the directors of the company concerned. Details of transfers to reserves by United Kingdom companies are made available on a confidential basis to the Bank of England and, through the bank, to the Department of Trade. They are also made available to the Inland Revenue in the normal course of determination of companies' tax position.
§ Mr. Stainton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish in the Official Report the names of all companies and banks which are both permitted to, and have in any of the last three financial years taken advantage of the statutory facility to make unspecified transfers from profits to inner reserves.
§ Mr. Eyre
A list of the banking or discount companies which have been granted exemption by the Secretary of State for Trade from certain requirements of schedule 8 of the Companies Act 1948, and may accordingly make undisclosed transfers to reserves, is published quarterly inBritish Business, copies of which are available in the Library. The most recent list was published on 23 October 1981. Information as to which exempt companies have taken advantage of the exemption in the last three financial years is not available in the case of oversea companies and is confidential in respect of other companies. Under schedule 8 certain insurance and shipping companies may also benefit from disclosure exemptions enabling them to make undisclosed transfers. In the case of insurance companies the exemptions are not discretionary and because supervision of insurance companies extends to companies other than those entitled to schedule 8 exemptions and is not based on Companies Acts accounts, information is not held by my Department as to which companies are able to take, and have taken, advantage of the exemptions. In the case of shipping companies, which may only obtain exemptions if the Secretary of State is satisfied that this is in the national interest, it is not the practice to publish the names of companies benefitting from an exemption.