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Alan Reid MP calls on Government to support a post bank

March 18, 2009 10:11 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats
Alan Reid MP for Argyll and Bute

Alan Reid, MP for Argyll & Bute

Dundee LibDems today (Wednesday 18th March) backed Alan Reid, Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll & Bute, who has called on Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy to support the establishment of a Post Bank, pointing out that such a bank would give many small businesses throughout Scotland access to the credit that the banks are denying them.

The Post Bank idea was launched by a coalition of interests, including the Communications Workers Union and the Federation of Small Businesses.

It would be publicly owned and operated by Post Office Ltd through its network of post offices.Alan Reid MP: Argyll & Bute

Speaking after the Commons exchange, Alan Reid said, "I am disappointed that the Secretary of State did not support the Post Bank proposals. With the credit crunch causing a loss of confidence in both banks and bankers, the time has never been better to create a Post Bank.

"Post Bank could offer safe, reliable banking services for business and individual customers through the large post office network.

"For the Post Office, Post Bank would expand its services, helping to put it back on a secure and profitable long term footing and help to keep many threatened Post Offices open."

The exchange at Scottish Questions in the House of Commons was:

Mr. Alan Reid : Will the Secretary of State support the establishment of a post bank, publicly owned, operating in local communities and taking decisions about granting credit to small businesses based on local knowledge rather than a nationwide formula? I believe that that would give many viable small businesses throughout Scotland access to the credit that the larger banks are presently denying them.

Mr. Murphy: The Government are always looking for additional ways to support small businesses in communities, and we particularly like to support the community and voluntary sectors and social enterprises. I would be happy to discuss that matter with the hon. Gentleman. It is important, however, to focus on some of the community facilities and support that are already in place, particularly for families rather than for businesses. I believe that the remarkable success and important role of credit unions throughout Scotland is something that we should all celebrate. They will play an important part in the recession.

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