Discovering more ethical and local investment options
Contact: Ann Link
TTL Better Banking Group is supporting East Sussex Credit Union and encouraging everyone in TTL to join. Join East Sussex Credit Union here…
New Year, new rates
East Sussex Credit Union (ESCU) is offering some loans at lower interest rates until 16th March. Details are:
7% AER for loans from £7,500 to £15,000 (7.23% APR)
8.5% AER for loans from £5000 to £7499. (8.84% APR)
Both rates require an AN1 or strong guarantor for each loan.
Our first public meeting in June 2011 was very successful with about 60 to 80 people at the Linklater Pavilion. We had six excellent speakers, who represented some elements of a potential bank, a lot of clear information and some ideas of what to do next.
With Julia Waterlow’s excellent chairing, we managed to cram all this into one evening, AND have enough time for discussion as well as further talking over refreshments. Thanks to all our speakers and to Sue, Susan, Colin, Dirk, Julia, Adrienne and everyone else who worked so hard.
Speakers panel – for presentations click on the names or email Ann Link for copies.
Tony Greenham from New Economics Foundation
John Magness, the Finance Director of Lewes District Council
Emma Larby from South Coast Money Line, changing name to Parity Trust
Colin Holden, East Sussex Credit Union
Fiona Brownsell and Robin Brownsell: both involved in setting up Metrobank
With Tony’s help, we identified some steps we could take now:
We can all become savers with the East Sussex Credit Union, helping it to grow and develop and help more people to avoid loan sharks. We can publicise it widely. As it grows it can become more like a bank – ESCU would be keen to explore this, and further projects may develop in conjunction with the council.
We can research and publicise all the other existing opportunities to save and invest our money locally.
We can watch the developing independent banks – it may become easier and cheaper over the next few years to set up a small bank.
Some people gave their names as interested in taking the process further. I will put you on the Google group, and will email soon about dates for a follow-up meeting to explore how we can carry out the above actions and explore other options. Ann Link
Where we started…
TTL Better Banking Group started with a session Where Does Our Money Go? in December at which some of us had read the book of similar name from New Economics Foundation (NEF). Most people felt that they wanted to move on from realisation of how bad the banking system is now to what we can do locally to build something better.
We decided we would have another meeting for the group and ask an expert in community banking to speak to us face-to-face and answer our questions.
Tony Greenham came from NEF in February and introduced himself as a former banker who left the industry during the dotcom bubble, expecting that things couldn’t get any worse, which, in due course, they did! He showed a short selection of slides to illustrate a) the structure and results of the current banking system since the 1970s; b) the alternatives and options for localising saving, lending and investment. Full notes and slides are below.
We wanted to look more closely at one of the options, and invited Carmen Appich (Finance Manager) and Nikki Plummer (Community Advocate) of East Sussex Credit Union to speak on 11th March. The ESCU wants to expand and is looking for savers: the main premises are in Brighton, but there are weekly advice sessions from 10am to 2pm on Wednesdays in at the De Montford Community Flat, 33 Heron Court, Ousedale Close, Lewes, and another session from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on Thursdays at Furniture Now! in North Street, as well as at Newhaven’s Information Hub on Thursdays from 10am to 12pm. Full notes from the meeting are below.