Simple Scissors

Press release: Outraged depositors move their money in protest at bonus announcements

Bonus season is upon us. Stephen Hester’s decision last night to waive his £1million bonus in the face of growing political and public pressure will be a relief for the Government. But depositors who don’t want to depend of the benevolence of individual bankers to turn down their bonuses have decided to move their money in protest. They are part of a new grassroots campaign going live this Tuesday, Move Your Money UK. Florence Roberson, a 25 year old waitress living in Bristol has her current account with NatWest but decided to move her money after hearing Stephen Hester’s bonus announcement “I joined NatWest when I was student because they offered a free young persons rail card and I’ve been with them ever since.” “I was outraged at Hester’s bonus announcement and its obvious that he would’ve accepted it if it wasn’t for the massive public pressure. I’ve got so many friends who have been to university, got a good degree but are still struggling to find work, and to hear that the CEO of a publically owned bank was offered a bonus worth near £1million beggars belief.” She is supporting Move Your Money UK, a new campaign encouraging people to move their money from the big plc banks to ethical, local or mutual financial institutions. The campaign follows the Move Your Money Project in the US which has seen over 4 million people move their accounts to local banks since last September. The campaign is being supported by Co-ops UK, Ed Mayo Secretary General said, ” At an individual level, you can’t do everything to put an unfair economy right – but you can do something. Move your money is the new fair trade. It is THE campaign for our time.” A spokesperson for Move Your Money UK said, “Why should the public submit themselves to the benevolence of the bankers in the hope that there are more Philip Hammonds than there are Fred Goodwin’s in the City?” “Regulatory and even structural reform can only take us so far. The only way of securing a sustainable, accountable and fair financial system is through a shift in cultural attitudes both inside and outside of the financial sector.” “And that’s up to us as citizens and consumers. When people choose where they keep their money, they are choosing between supporting business as usual or taking a simple but powerful step towards a better banking system.” The alternative financial sector has flourished in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Since 2007 Charity Bank has seen its deposits and balance sheet double in size, whilst Triodos’ balance sheet grew by 30% in 2009 alone, and savings in credit unions increased by 300% over the last decade. With the possibility of the Coop becoming a major player on the high street, the alternative financial sector is heading mainstream. Danielle Paffard, Move Your Money UK campaign manager will be appearing at the Southbank Centre alongside Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre Jude Kelly and Richard Sennet at a debate on Power and the Public Interest. http://ticketing.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/literature-spoken-word/tickets/in-the-public-interest-63511 To find our more about Move Your Money visit www.moveyourmoney.org.uk Notes to editors Contact Louis Brooke, Move Your Money communications officer: louis@moveyourmoney.org.uk, 07725 461 679 Florence is deciding whether to Move her Money to the Co-op or her local credit union The four major high street banks held £9bn worth of shares in Arms companies in 2008 (War on Want) The loss of output to the UK because of the 2008 financial crisis was £140bn, over time it could be up to £7trn! – that’s £112,000 per person in the UK (Andrew Haldane, Executive Director, Financial Stability, Bank of England, 09) Between 2009 and 2010 banks were estimated to make £11.2bn from overcharging. That’s £430 for every household in the country. SOURCE – Financial Inclusion Centre and Cooperatives UK

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