§ Mr. Greg Knight
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many prosecutions have taken place under the Fair Trading Act 1973 in relation to pyramid selling up to the latest date for which figures are available;
(2) if he will review the working of the Fair Trading Act 1973 in relation to pyramid selling;
(3) if he proposes to take any further steps to curb pyramid selling and associated practices.
§ Mr. Howard
[pursuant to his reply, 7 April 1986 c. 428]: There have been no prosecutions, to my knowledge under the pyramid selling provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973 but other action has been taken against trading schemes in this area. For example, Gem Collection Cosmetics Ltd was compulsorily wound up in the public interest, on 20 January 1986, on the petition of the Secretary of State.
As I mentioned in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond and Barnes (Mr. Hanley) on 11 April at c. 223 my Department will shortly complete a review of the pyramid selling provisions of the Fair Trading Act 1973 and possible changes will be considered in the light of the outcome. Meanwhile, my Department has strengthened its procedures for monitoring the activities of businesses operating in this area and will continue to take whatever action is necessary against suspect schemes and their promoters.