§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what connections have been reported to his Department between Scottish Legal Life Assurance Ltd. and SL Homes Ltd.; and what assessment his Department has made of whether Scottish Legal Life Assurance Ltd. is conducting its affairs in a fit and proper manner.
§ Mr. Nelson
I have been asked to reply.
Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society Ltd. is a friendly society. Until April 1993 its supervision was the responsibility of the registrar of friendly societies. With the coming into force of the Friendly Societies Act 1992, responsibility has shifted to the Friendly Societies Commission.
The society's 1990 return showed that all nine members of the society's committee of management were directors of SL Homes Ltd. The chief registrar's report for 1990–91 announced that an inspector had been appointed under section 87 of the Friendly Societies Act 1974 to examine the affairs of the society, and a number of changes were subsequently made to the management structure. The latest return lodged by the society is for the year 1992. It showed that one member of the committee was a director of SL Homes Ltd., and that the society had an outstanding investment with the SL Homes Group of £3,980,637.
Under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, it is for the Friendly Societies Commission, and not for my Department, to satisfy itself as to the manner in which Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society Ltd. is conducting its affairs. The commission is required to submit to the Treasury and Parliament each year a report on the discharge of its functions.