Turn RBS into network of local banks, Scottish Government urged

By staff writers
November 22, 2013

A new paper on banking policy calls for RBS's retail operations in Scotland to be transformed into a network of local banks for every region to boost lending to small businesses.

The Scottish Green Party policy paper proposes that as Westminster seeks to re-privatise RBS, Scottish ministers should negotiate with the Treasury for the transfer of the domestic banking operations of RBS in Scotland to a Scottish subsidiary.

These assets should then be split into a network of banks serving only their local region - a model of banking that is widespread in countries such as Germany - the paper suggests.

Earlier this month, November 2013, RBS was heavily criticised for its poor lending to small businesses by an independent review.

Scottish Greens' co-convenor Patrick Harvie MSP will put the proposal to RBS directly today when their Head of Corporate Banking gives evidence on their lending record to Holyrood's Economy committee.

Mr Harvie declared: "This is a policy to break the dominance of complex mega-banks and set up a network of local banks to better serve small businesses in every area. The current publicly-owned status of RBS presents a momentous opportunity for Scotland to shape a new model of banking that does more to support local needs."

"We want to see a revival of local banking to get more lending going to the thousands of small businesses which form the basis of regional economies. With some bold but achievable action from the Scottish Government, we could take back the initiative from a banking culture that has caused so much economic pain in recent years," he said

* The briefing is available in *.PDF Adobe Acrobat form here:
http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/11/SG...

[Ekk/3]

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