§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements he has made to monitor the burden on business of the Consumer Credit Act.
§ Mr. Howard
The Consumer Credit Act only came fully into force on 19 May 1985 and, as the "Lifting the Burdens" White Paper made clear, the first need now is for a period of stability in the interests of lenders and consumers. However, it is important that the working of the Act should be kept under review, and my Department has set up monitoring arrangements with the represenatives of the main commercial lenders. We will be attempting to assess the effectiveness of the Act and, inter alia, to identify any burdens imposed by the Act which appear excessive or unnecessary. But I am prepared, where appropriate, to take immediate action to alleviate specific business difficulties. This has already been done for mail order traders and the life insurance industry. The banking supervison White Paper has also announced our intention to amend the Act in the forthcoming Banking Bill to facilitate the development of electronic funds transfer at the point of sale (EFT-POS).