Archbishop of Canterbury wants local banks

23 April 2013

banks Instead of thinking about Jesus, the Archbishop of Canterbury has been thinking about money. Feel free to add your own 'just resting in the account' jokes here.

He thinks he's found a solution to Britain's financial woes, and that is for us all to have local banks. Break up the nationals and go for local lenders! That's what Jesus would do.

Speaking just days before key GDP data is expected to show the economy remains stalled, His Archbishopness told a Westminster discussion on the financial crisis organised by the Bible Society: "Economic crises are a major problem when they are severe. When they are accompanied by a financial crisis and a breakdown in confidence then they become a generational problem."

He added: "Historically, the great failures in banking have led to very, very long periods of recession at best. I would argue that what we are in at the moment is not a recession but essentially some kind of depression. It therefore takes something very, very major to get us out of it in the same way as it took something very major to get us into it."

The Archbishop is actually a former oil executive, so he might know a thing or two about money. He thinks that people should no longer be able to "drift" into senior banking positions and that there will always be problems when banks became distant from the communities they serve. With that idea in mind, he thinks the simplest solution would be to create a local banking system was "recapitalising at least one of our major banks and breaking it up into regional banks".

The Archbishop also added that he was disappointed to discover that "bankers are not nearly as bad as one hoped that they would be". "They do not come in with horns and a tail burning £50 notes to light large cigars, and involved in casino banking and arcane and complex structure projects, so much as coming in and having to admit - or showing - that what they had done was the slightly unsophisticated error … essentially was to borrow short and lend long - one classic error - and secondly they lent very, very large amounts of money to people who could not pay them back."

TOPICS:   Banking   Investments

10 comments

  • Dick
    Of course the problem with having local banks is that if one of them fails, then it can wipe out the finances of a region. And it takes less for a smaller bank to fail than a larger one. Unless of course he means "local" banks/BS like Halifax, C&G, YB, YBS, Skipton, etc. which are then no longer local.
  • Cheesey
    You would have thought the Church could use its vast wealth to do some good instead of telling us what to do with our money.
  • Early R.
    Coming from the head of the wealthiest institutions in the UK, why does he not put his money where his mouth is and start a C of E bank? Ethical and ecumenical banking?
  • jiggle
    ethical like the vatican bank! o wait...
  • Leo S.
    The Vatican bank is hardly a high street affair. Nothing to stop the Church here starting a bank. It would make sense, any profits after costs could go to good causes.
  • Scatterbrain
    Excellent idea. If I default on my loan they'd just forgive me
  • Han S.
    How fucking lazy is Mof to re-use the picture from the previous article? Discuss
  • Mick T.
    It's actually a very good idea and it works well, in the US and Germany there is a quite a movement for regional banks, instead of your local councils money going into a large investment bank whilst they think what to spend it on (and the bank sits on it and doesn't lend it out) it would go into a bank for that region which itself primarily invests the money in the region, the big banks are shit scared of this happening of course and we'll hear all sorts of hyperbole and rhetoric on why this is a bad idea.
  • Zeddy
    @Leo Slayer: good causes such as reparations for the abused?
  • SB
    No scatterbrain, if you default, you'd have sinned my son, and you'll go straight to hell with no supper.

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