“The creation of a publicly owned community banking system – such as operates successfully in many other countries – would give people an option to manage their finances in a way that is not entirely about making profits for banks.”

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy said that yesterday’s Central Bank Report is a damning indictment of the banking culture in Ireland and gives lie to the Government announcement earlier this month that there is ‘no compelling case’ for a public banking model.

The Central Bank report found that the pillar banks are ‘not demonstrating a consumer focus’ and according to Catherine Murphy this is the key problem. She said banks are more focused on profit margins and the exorbitant salaries of their senior executives than they are on the financial well-being of their customers. She reiterated her point that many people have lost faith in private banking institutions and are seeking community based publicly owned institutions to bank with.

Catherine Murphy said:

“The Social Democrats 2016 Manifesto included a commitment to create a community banking sector because we heard loud and clear that people wanted to bank with an institution they felt they could trust following the absolute shattering of trust that had occurred by the pillar banks during the crash. People felt and still feel, extremely sore about how the banks acted and indeed continue to act, with almost impunity and most people, given the choice, would prefer not to have to deal with them. The toxic culture of banking has not changed and unless we become culture-makers then we will continue to be culture-takers putting up with people being treated awfully by banks we have bailed out.”

“The creation of a publicly owned community banking system – such as operates successfully in many other countries – would give people an option to manage their finances in a way that is not entirely about making profits for banks engaged in home repossessions or refusing credit to small business owners, instead they could bank with an institution with a social conscience and who’s primary remit would be to ensure local banking facilities and services for local people.”

ENDS

25th July 2018