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Banking Bill Goes Before THe House
CSM is delighted to be told by our colleagues in the Cooperative Party, that Chris Evans, MP for Islwyn, will this afternoon present a Ten Minute Rule Bill in the Chamber of the House of Commons entitled ‘Banking (Disclosure, Responsibility and Education)’.
At a time when CSM is campaigning for more ethics in our financial system and put relationship at the heart of economics, as well as launching our campaign to Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, we think this bill is very timely indeed.
The Bill includes provisions to improve financial inclusion through Financial Inclusion Audits on the banking sector, access to finance and improved Financial Education. It also tackles the lack of transparency within the Banking sector with regard to wholesale transactions and commodity speculation.
Financial exclusion, affecting almost two million people in the UK, means that essential services become more expensive. Whether paying for utilities without direct debit, or a house repair that can cause temporary financial difficulty, people are too often forced to use the services of predatory and expensive credit companies.
As the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said at the 2nd reading of the Financial Services Bill Debate:
‘The Opposition are worried that the Government are allowing the banks to go backwards on financial exclusion, with charges for basic bank accounts being increased in the case of Barclays, and with new charges on basic bank account holders using automated teller machines in RBS and Lloyds. We want to strengthen the obligation on the banks to produce a universal service for all retail banks.’
At present there are nine million people in the UK who do not have access to credit from banks, so the time is now right to ensure that our financial institutions recognise their obligation to wider society.
The financial sector must understand the responsibility they have to the people whose jobs and way of life they put at risk by the reckless practices they pursued prior to the financial crash of 2008.
These issues were pursued by Labour & Co-operative MPs through the Standing Committee of the Financial Services Bill - read the transcipts of the debate on Hansard here.
Labour & Co-operative MP Chris Leslie, the Shadow Treasury Minister who led on the Bill for the Labour Party, outlined some of this work here.
Regrettably Labour's amendments were defeated but this Ten Minute Rule Bill gives us the opportunity to state the case once again.
Follow the links below to a range of articles which cover the issues and work described above.
http://touchstoneblog.org.uk/2012/03/for-our-new-regulators-knowledge-is-power/ - Chris Leslie MP
http://www.party.coop/2012/03/22/chris-evans-mp-how-the-banks-can-tackle-financial-exclusion/ - Chris Evans MP
http://www.leftfootforward.org/2012/03/bank-of-england-blind-to-the-financialisation-of-commodities/ - Dr Cormac Hollingsworth
Rob Carr, 26/03/2012