Treasury to take charge of `super SIB'

The Government's aim to create an enhanced Securities and Investments Board was taken a step further yesterday with the announcement that insurance regulation was being transferred to the Treasury. Helen Liddell, Economic Secretary, will assume responsibility for insurance regulation, which will eventually move to the SIB.

The new regulatory body, dubbed "super-SIB" will become one of the most powerful regulatory institutions in the UK, overseeing banks, securities firms as well as insurance and building societies.

Ms Liddell said in a parliamentary answer yesterday that the new arrangements would "further enhance the existing high standards of supervision and regulation of all financial sectors."

The Treasury said the Bank of England Bill, transferring regulation of the banking industry to the new SIB, would be introduced after the summer recess.

A draft Financial Services Bill to transfer the responsibilities of the current self-regulatory organisations, supervision of insurance companies and of mutually-owned organisations will be published for consultation in the summer next year.

There have been calls for further legislation in recent weeks to protect the remaining building societies from pressure from carpetbaggers.