Friday, April 23, 2010

Making banks work in all our interests

Just signed up to support the Better Banking Campaign which call[s] for fundamental reform of the banking system [via]the introduction of four measures which will help ensure financial institutions serve the interests of all people, businesses and third sector organisations equally. These are:

*Transparency from banks about the communities they do and don’t serve

*An incentive structure to encourage banks to fully engage with people and businesses in all communities

*A cap on extortionate lending rates

*A commitment from banks to re-invest 1% of their profits for social benefit

Why was the Better Banking Campaign set up?

Over the past two years, billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been used to bail-out the banking sector. However, we believe that banks should be doing much more to deliver a genuine social return on our investment. Up to 9 million people aren’t able to access banking services in a fair and equal way in the UK, often forcing them to turn to high-cost lenders or loan sharks for help. The recession has also meant that small businesses, charities and social enterprises have struggled to access finance.

The financial crisis, along with the...General Election, have presented us with a once in a generation opportunity to transform the banking sector so that it works in the interests of us all. If we are able to take it, it could help eradicate long-term problems such as financial exclusion which have affected some of the most disadvantaged communities in our society for many years. The Better Banking Campaign works to ensure that this opportunity is not missed.

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