We demand more from a bank we already own – join us
June 19, 2015
The RBS bank, including NatWest, is not fit for purpose. The bank was saved when it was on its knees with a £45 billion bail out from the taxpayer in 2008. But despite this, RBS avoids paying tax of its own, refuses to lend to the British businesses and people that saved it, and is closing masses of branches that communities rely on.
It hasn’t always been this way. Banks used to be run and managed locally, with local interests and people at heart. They were at the centre of the community, building relationships and knowing their customers, making decisions based on judgment, not inflexible policies cooked up in London, or the “computer says no” syndrome.
But this is far from just rose-tinted nostalgia. Having these kinds of banks not only boosts economic performance and social outcomes, but it also helps to prevent financial crises, and to rebuild society quicker when crisis strikes.
In fact, we’re one of the only countries in the world not to have these kinds of local banks – and have been one of the hardest hit by the bank-caused financial crisis as a result.
But it doesn’t have to be this way anymore. We own RBS, we should make it work for us. Instead of flogging it off on the cheap to the people who caused the crisis and austerity, let’s reform the bank to serve the people that saved and still own it – the British taxpayer.
By converting RBS into a network of local banks, we can rebuild society and the economy from the ground up, making it invest in things that matter, rather than just financial bubbles and risky speculation.
But to do that we need to stand up and be counted. We need to end Osborne’s reckless firesale, and to take to the streets to show that we value local branches and investment in our communities.
Most of all, we need to show Osborne and his mates in The City that they can’t just flog off state assets on the cheap again. This is our bank, it has a real impact on our lives. It’s time to take it back, and to make it work for us.