Other interesting Banking news - Autumn 2014

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Changes to higher education funding and its regulation

With effect from 1 August 2014, a number of significant changes to higher education funding and its regulation have become operative. The changes were pre-figured in the letter to HEFCE from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills dated 20 June 2011. A cynic might think that the changes were to save on government spending, which might be true, but there was a will expressed that higher education should not just be provided by Higher Education Institutions, but also that the HEFCE should fund and regulate all provision of high education.

From 1 August 2014 the old Financial Memorandum between HEFE and higher education providers has been replaced with a new Memorandum of Assurance and Accountability. Part 1 details conditions of grant which apply to all HEIs but also contains specific conditions that also apply to FECs. For those HEIs which are also exempt charities, there are also details of additional requirements to be provided to HEFCE as regulator under the Charities Act 2011. HEFCE has also set up a Register of HE Providers, and non-compliance with regulatory requirements or requirements of other bodies such as QAA or HESA may lead HEFCE to placing a "flag" on the Register to alert prospective students and others to non-compliance.

Cheaper future at the Companies House

Banks can look forward to decreased disbursement charges following the announcement by the Companies House in July that it is going to make access to all its digital data free of charge by the end of the second quarter of 2015.  The change follows an agreement by G8 leaders last year to improve corporate transparency and the proposed time frame will make the UK the first country to establish a truly open register of business information.