After our crowd-funded poll showed only 1 in 10 people supported the Government’s plan to sell off RBS, we teamed up with public ownership campaign We Own It and delivered a 12,000-strong petition to the Treasury in March. Since then, there hasn’t been a peep from Chancellor Philip Hammond about selling off more shares and the Labour party have publicly committed to keeping RBS in public hands if they come to power. People power in action!
In April, a year after we launched our report “A Green Bank of England”, Mark Carney committed the Bank to disclosing the climate risk on its balance sheet - the first key step we called for. He also warned commercial banks they need to declare their climate risk. A welcome move, but if we’re to prevent climate breakdown, he needs to go further, faster, and use the Bank’s powers to unleash green investment.
So after confronting him head-to-head on the issue back in January, our very own Simon Youel then took to The Guardian’s editorial page to make the case. And amongst the Youth Strikers and Extinction Rebels, Positive Money also took to the streets - well Threadneedle street to be more precise! - with an action outside the Bank of England.
Our petition on the issue quickly gathered 5,000 signatures and we’ll be delivering it when Carney’s in the media spotlight on 11th July.
In the face of the big banks and payment companies who are trying to force a ‘cashless society’, we’re working to protect people’s access to cash. Our Head of Policy, David Clarke, has done six radio and TV interviews and spoken at high-level meetings alongside MPs and regulators fighting the corner for the millions of people who rely on cash every day.
Last week Positive Money coordinated a letter published in the Guardian, which was signed by 94 high-profile people and organisations including Yanis Varoufakis, Kate Raworth, Steve Keen, Greenpeace, ShareAction and Tax Justice UK.
The next Governor, due to start in January 2020, will face the challenge of changing three key trends: climate change, inequality and an economy skewed towards asset price inflation. As our letter states: “The Bank of England’s own stated purpose is to promote the good of the people. We believe we need a Governor genuinely committed to serving the whole of society, not just financial markets.”
Tony Yates, a former Bank of England economist wrote a critical response in the Financial Times to our letter, to which we wrote a response in the Finance Times, to which he wrote an encouraging blog post about! An important and constructive debate :-)
The original Positive Money forum closed in 2013, but now we’re gearing up for the launch of the all-new The Money Question Forum - a platform for productive discussion about reforming our monetary system, which will help progress and grow the monetary reform community. Keep an eye out for that!