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MP calls for UK to follow German banking system ahead of Wrexham conference

02 May 2013


Regional banks designed to support the local population and boost business would benefit North Wales.

Following the German finance model could improve the reputation of UK banks and create goodwill, according to Wrexham MP Ian Lucas.

Mr Lucas will deliver a speech aimed at moving away from centralised banking and towards Germany’s Sparkassen system, at the Financing Affordable Housing Conference hosted by Glyndŵr University today (Friday).

The event will take place at the Catrin Finch Centre from 10am, where Warm Wales, Bellerophon, Comtek CEO Askar Sheibani and Wales’ Finance Minister Jane Hutt will also be in attendance.

Mr Lucas said: “One of the most striking aspects of the German economy is how decentralised it is.

“What makes Sparkassen different to British banks is a strict rule that they can only function within a particular geographic area. As a result, the income and investments they receive are applied solely for the benefit of their local economy.

“The basic principle is that local deposits are transformed into local loans.”

He added: “What we lack, in my view, is a culture of individuals making their own money work for the benefit of our local communities. My judgement is that such an institution in North Wales would attract investors.

“We have a credit union but, despite much hard work, it is not attracting the deposits it needs. At a time when we see more pay day lenders on our high streets, we need to act to provide easy access to local banks to offer facilities to local customers at socially responsible levels.”

At the conference, Mr Lucas will also pay tribute to Glyndŵr University's “vision” and role as an “expert partner in the economic and social development” of North Wales.

He added: “The Housing Programme team at Glyndŵr has been helping to achieve this through the strategically significant work they have been undertaking across the region.

“Glyndŵr University will have been instrumental in informing housing policy from the South Wales valleys to the North Wales coast, and from the borders of North West and Midlands England, to the tip of the Llyn Peninsula; demonstrating our participation in the 'A55 knowledge corridor' pledges it has made.”

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