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Sinn Féin launches sustainable banking solution while Inquiry pours over wreckage of Fianna Fáil system – Tóibín

2 July, 2015

 Sinn Féin Jobs and Junior Finance Spokesperson Peadar Tóibín today launched the party’s Discussion Paper on the establishment of an innovative new Public Bank system for Ireland.

 The Meath West TD said:

 “Seven years have passed since the banking crisis and society is still hurting from the unsustainable banking arrangements of the past.

 “The banking inquiry is a necessary piece of work but critical to the debate are innovative banking solutions that insulate future generations from catastrophic damage and power enterprise development throughout the state.

 “It is clear from the ongoing actions of the traditional banking sector that they operate solely on a commercial basis, and despite the life support provided by the Irish people there has been little solidarity in return.

 “Viable small and micro businesses continue to suffocate because of legacy debt, and the new ecosystem of lending products from this government has failed to get the targeting flows of lending into businesses.

 “It is clear that Ireland needs more competition in the banking sector, but what we don’t need is more of the same. Just last year, the Governor of the Central Bank spoke of the need for a second tier of banking which is geared towards local concerns, with local managers and a greater level of local awareness.

 “In an effort to further the public debate on this obvious gap in the banking sector, Sinn Féin has today published a discussion paper outlining our proposal for a Public Banking network modelled on the successful Sparkassen local banking network in Germany.

 “Our proposal envisages 10 regional banks managed independently, supported by a centralised specialised unit providing auditing, risk management, and procurement services to the network.

 “Each local bank will operate within a defined region ensuring a fair balanced distribution of potential deposits and lending across the state, increasing the incentive to invest in the sustainable development of each local banks region.

 “Focus by each bank within the network will increase each lenders customer and local economy knowledge, and the principle of local deposits to local loans will provide opportunities for economically weaker regions.

 “Sinn Féin’s discussion paper provides details of the Public Banks business model, initial estimates on how the network would be initially financed and sets how the mechanisms by which SMEs and agriculture could particularly benefit from this additional pillar in Ireland are banking system.

 “We will engage with enterprise representative organisations and other stakeholders across the country over the coming months to further the debate on the introduction of a Public Banking system in Ireland.” 

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