With the end of the tax on bankers bonuses, government borrowing this April the worst on record and small business still being held to ransom by the financial sector, NEF and Compass are holding a Good Banking Summit today, in a perhaps forlorn attempt to inject some realism into the discourse. There don't seem to be any details online, but Ann Pettifor at Debtonation blog is one of the speakers, doing a bit of last minute publicity.
Loans & Lies: Bankers and Politicians Out of Touch
Back in the day the local bank manager was a key figure. Someone who knew his patch and the people and businesses in it, who would be a good risk and who wouldn't. Nowadays that's all out of the window, as David Boyle explains:
"Neither the politicians nor the bankers will admit it - in fact they collude in this - but the big banks are no longer able to lend effectively to the SME sector. It isn't that they won't, it is that they have consolidated beyond the point where they can. They have no systems, no local managers, which would allow them to. But until the politicians accept this, and the bankers admit it - which they do privately - we can't move on ..."
"A friend of mine who has a small business approached their bank for a loan last week. They were told they had three options, a loan to buy a car, a loan to go on holiday or to put it on their credit card. This is another symptom of the Big Lie. It is time someone in frontline politics had the courage to nail it once and for all."