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Regulatory reform of Registered Social Landlords

Last updated: 9 May 2017

Consulting body:
Welsh Government
Period of consultation:
Runs from 8 May 2017 to 3 July 2017
CML action:
Response submitted

Welsh Government launched a consultation on 8 May (running to 3 July) on legislative provisions to be removed or amended to address central and local government controls over Registered Social Landlords (RSL), identified by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as factors in its decision to reclassify Welsh RSLs as public bodies for accounting purposes. 

The government intends that by making changes to the legislative provisions highlighted in the consultation document, the ONS should be able to reverse its classification decision and return RSLs to their former private classification. 

The required legislative changes are being badged as “regulatory reform” rather than de-regulation. 

The broad areas for removal of controls are the same as those already addressed in England relating to:

  • Disposal consents
  • Consents to constitutional changes
  • Changes to appointment powers
  • Changes to local council powers in relation to representation on Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) boards.

We are keen to see regulatory reform that is consistent as far as possible with measures already taken in England, and those likely to be taken in Scotland and Northern Ireland to address the same issues there. 

CML response

The 29 September 2016 ONS decision applies to the RSL sectors not only in Wales but also to the sectors in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It mirrors the earlier ONS decision for English RSLs that were reclassified in the same way in August 2015.

The CML and lenders are working with regulators and officials in the UK’s devolved nations as they develop their respective proposals to recalibrate the extent of government/ regulatory control over their RSL sectors.

Proposals for change in Northern Ireland were subject to formal consultation in February this year, but have subsequently been stalled to-date as a result of the disruption to the NI Assembly.

In Scotland, Ministers have announced that a Bill to achieve the required changes to aspects of government control over RSLs there will be introduced around September.

Download the full CML response to this consultation below.