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Susan Kramer: Mutual banking has a vital role to play

July 19, 2012 11:11 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

"People have been taking a personal stand against bank scandals and moving their money to local, ethical or mutual financial institutions that they feel they can trust. But for many the local choice has been quite limited. So the sale of hundreds of Lloyds branches to the Co-op is not only good news for taxpayer but customers as well.

"Currently, the consumer banking sector is dominated by a small number of banks who have been taking their customers for granted. A healthy banking sector relies on diverse banks competing for customers by offering competitive deals.

"Liberal Democrats have long championed the mutual approach to business because mutuals give people a proper stake in the places they work, spreading wealth through society, and bringing innovative and imaginative business ideas to bear on meeting local needs.

"That is why the Co-op and other local, ethical or mutual banks have a vital role to play in making our banking sector more diverse. This deal will help throw open the retail banking market, give a boost to mutual banking and will help the industry move back to responsible banking that benefits the wider economy."