§ Mr. Nelson
My right hon. Friend the Chancellor has no plans to commission such a report and is not aware of any evidence that banks are raising charges in a co-ordinated way. The decision by a bank to increase its charges is a matter for its own commercial judgment. The then Director of Fair Trading, Sir Gordon Borrie, announced on 24 October 1991 that, after considering material relating to banking practices passed to him by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor, which covered fees and charges, he had concluded that there were no grounds to justify any further action under the competition legislation. The Bank of England's recent review of bank lending to small businesses also showed that there were divergences between individual banks both in the level of their charges and in their attitude to implementing them.
§ Mrs. Jane Kennedy
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations he has received concerning the practice of high street banks charging customers for certificates showing annual interest and tax paid required by the Inland Revenue in order to claim for tax rebates;
(2) if he intends to introduce measures to compensate individuals charged by high street banks for certificates showing annual interest and tax paid required by the Inland Revenue in order to claim for tax rebates.246W
§ Mr. Dorrell
Following a number of representations last year, the British Bankers Association and the Building Societies Association were asked to remind their members that they have a statutory duty to provide tax deduction certificates on receipt of a written request. No charge should therefore arise. There have been no recent reports of institutions continuing to charge.