Better Banking.

Fair and Affordable Credit For All is the tag applied to the site for the www.betterbanking.org.uk , this is one of the most important campaigns to get behind and support.

It is crucial that real progress is made in the area of financial inclusion, it is wrong that  7 million people do not have access to bank accounts, to credit, financial exclusion is wrong. Water companies issue County Court Judgements against the poorest in our society, and do so at a low cost, actually making additional profit by the charges they impose on people who are not affording paying but cannot afford to pay.

These people then having a County Court Judgement on their file, sometimes for as little as a £200 then are forced into sub-prime mortgages, doorstep lenders, payday loans, all carrying a premium that they can ill afford. During this latest recession people that were just managing, have lost their jobs and have failed, have got behind.

Does it matter! Really? Well is it moral that a woman during her menstrual cycle cannot afford sanitary protection, or cannot provide her teenage daughter with it because that last money is need for food for her children or Electricity and\Or Gas on a prepay meter at a higher rate than a richer neighbour for warmth. Even better off people with a CCJ, work hard all year to pay for a holiday and prepay for car hire in Spain for example which on arrival are not allowed the car, because they have no credit card, even though they were not pre-warned it was a condition of hire.

But they is help out there, we have all heard about it, a good housing association, wanted to help its tenants, so gave microloans to support business start ups, wonderful, great, what a forward thing association, getting a tenant into work, maybe employing another or two, creating jobs, showing people hope, and giving opportunity.  Well, it sounds good, a £300 loan, the man borrowed, when to evening class, a twenty six week business course, brought a lawnmower, a spade, a wheel barrow, a rack and a hoe, and he made a wonderful job of some land around a church, and around a local community centre, planted flowers, tidied the area.

The housing association advertised for a company to look after the land around three tower blocks, he applied, after all they got him started, helped fund him, and he was local, living in one of the blocks, they refused his submission, he did not have three years trading records.

Better Banking is important, fairness is extremely important, tinkering with the system is no longer enough, it is time for an overhaul, time to stop and fix it.

Better Banking means Better Communities – the absence of Hope destroys them

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CSL – John Kirby

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