Back the Post Bank Project - Gale tells Commons Meeting (March 17th 2009)
North Thanet's MP, Roger Gale has this (Tuesday) afternoon called for support for the proposal to create a United Kingdom Post Bank along the lines of those already operating in France, Germany and Italy.
Sharing a platform with Tony Benn (Labour), Vince Cable (Liberal) and BERR Minister Pat Mc Fadden, Gale said:
"There are millions of people who are socially disadvantaged or elderly and who do not have bank accounts and do not wish to walk into a bank but who use the post office weekly. There are scores of members of the Federation of Small Business and the Chambers of Commerce who cannot get help with loans to keep their businesses afloat or to expand. And there is still a network of post offices across the Country. That makes an equation. We have all the necessary ingredients, save government backing, to create a Post Bank that could bring local banking right back into the heart of our communities".
Backing the Post Bank concept are the Communication Workers Union, The Federation of Small Business, unite, the National Pensioners Convention, and the New Economics Foundation.
"Since commercial banks have been bailed out by Government" says Roger Gale "surveys indicate that confidence in the sector is low. That indicates that a new approach to banking is needed. The Post Office brand is tried, tested and trusted. If Government were to put up the initial finance for a Post Bank as a social enterprise project it would very swiftly become self-funding. It would also expand consumer choice into areas that the traditional High Street banks no longer reach. If Italy, France and Germany can all enable their postal services to do this then we can do it in the UK. We need to do it and we need to do it now"