We the undersigned are petitioning Lambeth Council to move it’s money and bank with ethical financial providers.
In Vauxhall, where I live, the recession is hitting hard. Every day I witness the social consequences of the banking crisis and the resulting austerity. People are being pushed to the wall, there are no jobs, and there is no sense that things will improve.
As a public body, Lambeth Council manages millions of pounds of public funds for the people of the borough, and yet it banks with NatWest/RBS one of the banks which caused the financial crisis. This money could help to transform the financial sector.
If invested in ethical, mutual or local financial providers, it would help regenerate neighbourhoods, stimulate investment in green and social enterprise, and create new jobs.
Lambeth Councils current banking services contract expires on the 31st March 2013, and we call upon the Council to use this opportunity to select a financial provider more in-line with its Co-operative Council values; and:
1. Open an account with a local credit union so that our money is being reinvested into the local community, and reducing reliance on pay-day loans and loan sharks
2. Review the weighting of the councils criteria for procuring financial service providers, to give due consideration to the social, ethical, and environmental benefits of banking with an ethical or mutual financial provider.
3. Move the Councils Money to an ethical or mutual financial provider, as relevant contracts come up for review. http://www.moveyourmoney.org.uk
Lambeth council currently banks with NatWest, which is owned by RBS. Besides playing a major role in the recent banking crisis - requiring a massive £45bn tax-payer-funded bailout, RBS has failed to meet its targets for lending to small businesses, continues to pay excessive bonuses and invests in in socially and environmentally destructive businesses and practices likes weapons manufacturing and tar sands oil exploration.
RBS has an ethical score of just 1.5 out of 20, and operates 1303 subsidiaries, 31% of which are located in offshore tax havens, which decrease the Government tax-take and increase the tax burden on communities.
Not only do mutual and ethical alternatives offer similar financial services to High Street banks like NatWest/ RBS, they also better serve the needs of households, businesses, and local communities and are more transparent and ethically responsible in their investment policies.
More information about the Move Your Money campaign can be found at: http://www.moveyourmoney.org.uk
For further reading on ethical banking and the problems with the High Street banks – please read the following: