§ Mr. Matthew Banks
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made with proposals for open-ended investment companies. 
§ Mrs. Angela Knight
Regulations under the European Communities Act 1972, permitting the formation in Great Britain of the first stage of open-ended investment companies, those which fall within the scope of the undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities directive, were made on 11 November and come into force on 6 January 1997.
The Treasury is publishing today a consultation document outlining proposals to enable the formation of a second stage of open-ended investment companies, which would also be regulated by the Securities and Investments Board, with a wider range of investment powers. I am placing copies of the document in the Library of the House. Subject to the outcome of the consultations, which will continue until 24 January 1997, I hope to lay an order under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 to bring this about. I look forward to receiving the views of the investment funds industry and other interested parties on these proposals which will bring the investment opportunities for open-ended investment companies into line with those for authorised unit trusts.