This year's prebudget report, published on 24 November, includes some plans that have pleased the financial sector. See BBA and IMA below. The PBR's focus includes ensuring financial stability and supporting business. Plans include:
- measures on financial stability as Chair of the G20 in 2009. More immediately, the Government plans to strengthen the Banking Bill in respect of banking group holding companies and insolvencies of investment firms;
- a review of offshore financial centres, specifically the UK's crown dependencies and overseas territories;
- working closely with stakeholders to ensure that financial institutions work better in the interests of consumers and society as a whole;
- pressing the Commission to reform the EU financial supervisory regime;
- supporting the work of the Rights Issue Review Group;
- working with OFT to tackle consumer detriment in the financial services sector;
- simplifying and clarifying asset management taxation (see IMA below);
- providing SDLT relief for sukuk and working with FSA on its plans to consult on the regulatory treatment of sukuk; and
- improving consumer protection in mortgage markets.
Also, new legislation took effect on 24 November 2008 to provide relief to entities which enter into stock lending arrangements with financial institutions which subsequently become insolvent and are unable to return the borrowed securities.
(Source: Press Releases, Statement and Pre- Budget Report: Facing global challenges: supporting people through difficult times)