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G20 - Global Coalition renews its call for banks ‘worth saving’ / Rappel vers les leaders du G20 à créer un système financier qui mérite d’être sauvé

At the occasion of the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, the ECRC renews its call for banks ‘worth saving’ (which it issued at the previous London G20 Summit in April 2009) and reminds coalition partners of its critique of the more recent G20 Declaration “12 measures for a socially useful financial system” led by alternative banks.


[en français, voir ci-dessous]

Global Coalition calls on G-20 leaders to create a private-sector financial system ‘worth saving’


Washington, DC -- The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) – in alliance with the Global Community Reinvestment Coalition (GCRC), including partner organizations and citizen leaders in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa –  today issued a call for the G-20 to commit itself to the creation of a financial system that is worth saving, by taking these actions:

  • Agreeing to put in place a cross-border ‘duty to exercise responsibility in financial services’ for providers within their banking and credit licensing systems. Financial services corporations and all related firms in the financial sector (insurers, investment firms, rating agencies, etc.) should be required to follow clear principles of responsibility and to have transparent mechanisms in place to enable citizen oversight, in order to ensure that these principles guide behavior in practice. This affirmative obligation should include a requirement for financial firms to incorporate financial inclusion and the impact of their practices on households and small businesses – including those with low incomes and in minority communities – when designing and offering financial products and services, in a manner consistent with safety and soundness.

  • Ensuring that taxpayer aid – emergency aid that seeks to rescue the world’s banking systems in the current emergency – is turned into real help for people in financial difficulty, by requiring lenders to review, reschedule or otherwise modify the debt liabilities of households and small businesses at affordable rates over the long term.

  • Agreeing to take further action to stop repossessions in the present financial crisis and to ensure that lenders offer affordable loans to people in negative equity and/or mortgage arrears, wherever possible; and committing to stabilize housing costs in the longer term by increasing the supply of affordable housing, both for rental and for homeownership.

If the G-20 would put in place a regulatory and supervisory system of accountability and affirmative obligation to serve communities (consistent with safety and soundness), this global crisis might have been prevented or at least limited. NCRC and its global partners urge the G-20 to move forward on this agenda, to prevent a global financial crisis from ever occurring again.

NCRC’s President and CEO, John Taylor, commented:

“The major lesson to be learned from this global financial crisis is that without the rule of law, malfeasant lending practices by the private sector can undermine a nation’s economy.  The financial services sector requires a healthy mixture of borrower protections, regulatory oversight including high-end financial instruments (derivatives, hedge funds, etc.), transparency, and clear requirements that lenders must offer fair and non-predatory products and services to all creditworthy borrowers, even low- and middle-income families (with the principle of safety and soundness ever present). These elements must always be le rigueur du jour in order to insure stable and effective financial markets.”

Maryellen Lewis, who chairs NCRC’s Global Fair Banking Initiative (sponsor of the Global Community Reinvestment Coalition [GCRC]), added:

“We are now collaborating with citizen groups and civic leaders on every continent to try to patch the gaping regulatory holes that have caused financial disaster for so many families, small businesses and, now, nations on every continent.  With strong leadership by the G-20 to discipline global financial markets and to secure their underlying assets in households around the world (homeowners, stockholders, taxpayers), this growing movement for transparency and accountability of the financial sector will have new tools for true citizen oversight of this critical public good.”

Udo Reifner (Chair of the European Coalition for Responsible Credit [ECRC] and Director of the Institute for Financial Services in Hamburg, Germany) provided this:

“The huge subsidies to the financial sector have brought into clear focus the critical role for prudent regulation of consumer lending.  This unanticipated use of taxpayer funds has also amplified public demands that policymakers take bold steps to ensure that banks behave more responsibly in the future. While the implementation of the new EU-Directive on Consumer Credit in all European Union Member States still represents the old views of deregulation and “buyer beware”, a number of parliaments (such as in Portugal, Germany and the UK) are also discussing more aggressive measures to cope with high risk lending practices, credit card credit, secondary mortgages, access to basic bank services, and the irresponsible shift of risks away from the originators of the loans to hedge funds. The G-20 should also carefully consider these crucial measures which alone will allow money markets to stabilize and make investments safe again, while helping to cope with the modern disease of overindebtendess.”

Damon Gibbons, who co-chairs the European Coalition for Responsible Credit [ECRC] and chairs Debt on our Doorstep in the UK, commented:

“Financial services providers have engaged in irresponsible and usurious lending, causing households to become increasingly vulnerable to economic shocks and saddling them with unsustainable levels of debt. We call on the G-20 to signal a decisive break with the short termism, greed, and irresponsibility that have caused the current crisis and to take action to ensure that taxpayer investment in the banking system is now used to create a system that benefits people.”

Also supporting the work of the global coalition, Andy Case – a National Secretary for Unite, the UK’s largest trade union with 2 million members including 178,000 working in the Finance Sector – said:

“The current situation provides an opportunity to re-build a financial system that supports a long-term outlook and is consistent with democratic aims, financial stability and social justice." 

And Karen Harris, Supervising Attorney of the Community Investment Unit, Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, USA adds this:

“As a national United States advocacy and policy center working to end poverty for low income individuals and families, we have seen first-hand how the current economic meltdown has impacted low and moderate income families.  This crisis vividly demonstrates how vital the global enactment, and more importantly, enforcement of responsible financial lending and consumer protection laws are.  It is appalling that this global financial crisis, which could have been avoided if such laws had been in place, has decimated all of our countries’ financially vulnerable populations.”

The current global financial crisis had its roots in the mortgage crisis in the United States, where consumer protections are far more limited than in most European nations. In the US, the beneficial oversight of depository banks through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) prevented the most irresponsible lending. According to the Federal Reserve Board, in 2006 only 6 percent of the subprime problematic loans were to low- to moderate-income borrowers and covered under CRA. Stated otherwise, almost 95 percent of the reckless and irresponsible loans that formed the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis had nothing to do with CRA lending to low- to moderate-income households. But a huge, unregulated financial sector has grown up in the US since deregulation began in the 1990s, and here the predatory practices were rampant, and then were concealed within Mortgage Backed Securities (given unwarranted high ratings from the big rating agencies), half of which were purchased by non-US investors. When these securities were leveraged through derivatives and hedge funds, a house of cards was built that linked most of the world’s economies into a disaster-waiting-to-happen.

Several countries, particularly in Europe, have stronger consumer protections that may prevent the worst of the predatory practices that have undermined family assets and community economic health in the United States. But the transnational financial market institutions, intimately intertwined and diffusely owned across the globe, are as unregulated or severely under-regulated in every national economy as in the United States.

A list of signatories [so far!] to this statement follows below:


Organizations                                                                                                 Country


ASB Schuldnerberatungen                                                                             Austria

Arbeiterkammer Wien                                                                                     Austria

Democratic Lawyer's Assn of Bangladesh/DLAB                                     Bangladesh

Observatoire du Crédit et de l'Endettement                                                Belgium

Asbl GREPA                                                                                                      Belgium

Réseau Financement Alternatif                                                                     Belgium

Crédal                                                                                                                 Belgium

Instituto de Estudos do Trabalho e Sociedade/IETS                                Brazil

Brasilcon                                                                                                            Brazil

Institiuto de Defesa do Consumidor                                                             Brazil

Consumers International – Chile                                                                   Chile

Personal Finance Counseling Association                                                 Croatia

Consumers' Defence Organisation                                                              Czech Republic

National Research Institute of Legal Policy                                                 Finland

Kuluttajavirasto Konsumentverket                                                                 Finland

Institut National de la Consommation                                                          France

Cresus                                                                                                                France

TestePourVous                                                                                                 France

MicFin                                                                                                                  France

Finansol                                                                                                              France

SOS Familles Emmaüs                                                                                   France

Prof. Catherine Teissier, University of Provence – Centre d’Aix               France

Institut für Finanzdienstleistungen e.V.                                                         Germany

Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V.                                                     Germany

Katholischer Verband für Soziale Dienste in Deutschland e.V.                Germany

Verbraucherzentrale Hessen e.V.                                                                    Germany

Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg e.V.                                                                 Germany

Verbraucherzentrale Bremen e.V.                                                                    Germany

IHV Insolvenzhilfeverein                                                                                    Germany                                                                                             Germany

Prof. (em.) Dr. Hans Dieter Seibel, Cologne Society for the                      Germany

…..Advancement of Development Research (KGFE e.V.)

EKPIZO Consumers' Association                                                                     Greece

National Association of Consumer Protection                                               Hungary

MicroSave                                                                                                               India

Sa Dhan, Association of Community Development Finance Institutions   India

Rajasthan Shram Sarathi Association                                                               India

Vijayamohanan Pillai N., Associate Professor of Development Studies    India

European Coalition for Responsible Credit                                                      International

Global Community Reinvestment Coalition                                                     International

European Consumer Debt Network (Dieter Korczak)                                    International

Interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives                                                     International

New Rules for Global Finance Coalition                                                          International

Michael Saleh Gassner,                                                    International

CHF International Associated                                                                              International

Jeanne Mirer, President, IADL/International Asn of Democratic Lawyers    International

FEBEA - European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks                    International

      INAISE - International association of social finance organizations         International

      … 29 countries [also issuing joint press release]

Combat Poverty                                                                                                          Ireland

Money Advice and Budgeting Services                                                                  Ireland

Free Legal Advice Centres Ltd.                                                                              Ireland

Altroconsumo                                                                                                             Italy

Caritas                                                                                                                         Italy

CODICI                                                                                                                       Italy

Kohjimachi Citizen Law Office                                                                              Japan

Associate Prof. Saya Oyama, Kinjo Gakuin University                                   Japan

Ligue Medico-Sociale                                                                                           Luxembourg

Union Luxembourgeoise des Consommateurs                                            Luxembourg

Centre for Human Rights and Development                                                   Mongolia

Community Trust Foundation                                                                             Mongolia

Himalayan Institute of Development                                                                 Nepal

Nederlandse Vereniging von Volkskrediet                                                      Netherlands

Consumer Awareness Organization                                                                Nigeria

Consumers Empowerment Organisation of Nigeria (CEON)                     Nigeria

Centro de Arbitragem De Conflitos de Consumo de Lisoboa                     Portugal

Assoc. Portuguesa para a Defesa do Consumidor                                       Portugal

Dr. Rodica Diana Apan,  Attorney                                                                       Romania

Professor Dr. Florin Ciutacu, Univ. Dimitrie Cantemir &                              Romania

…..President, Romanian Assn for Study of Private Comparative Law

Slovene Consumers Association                                                                      Slovenia

You & Your Money                                                                                                  South Africa

Ass. para la Defensa de los Impositores de Bancos y Cajas de Ahorres de Espana   Spain

Observatoire de la Finance                                                                              Switzerland

Verein Schuldensanierung Bern                                                                    Switzerland

Fair Finance Ltd                                                                                                  UK

Community Development Finance Association                                         UK

Citizens Advice Scotland                                                                                 UK

Debt on Our Doorstep                                                                                    UK

Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR)                    UK

New Economics Foundation                                                                         UK

National Housing Federation                                                                        UK

Community Finance Solutions                                                                     UK

Toynbee Hall                                                                                                   UK

The Corner House                                                                                         UK

Unite the Union, Amicus Section                                                                UK

NCRC/National Community Reinvestment Coalition & more than 600        USA

…..allied community development corporations; local and state

…..government agencies; faith-based institutions; community organizing

…..and civil rights groups; minority and women-owned business

…..associations as well as local and social service providers.

NFCDCU/National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions  USA

InnerCity Press / Fair Finance Watch                                                                    USA

Heinz Riehl, founding member of Finance, Credit and International            USA

…..Business & Professor of Finance at NYU




La Coalition Mondiale pour le Crédit Responsable invite les leaders du G20 à créer un système financier qui mérite d’être sauvé


Debt on our Doorstep, avec l’appui en Grande Bretagne des syndicates UNITE et PCS, la New Economics Foundation, Church Action on Poverty, la National Housing Federation, l’ancien ministre et président du parti travailliste Ian McCartney, avec l’appui de la Global Coalition for Responsible Credit qui inclut la Coalition européenne pour le Crédit responsable, la National Community Reinvestment Coalition américaine, et d’autres partenaires dans vingt pays, a aujourd'hui publié un appel pour que la prochaine réunion du G20 s'engage dans la création d'un système financier qui mérite d’être sauvé :

  • Que le G20 décide de contraindre les fournisseurs de services financiers à un « devoir de fournir des services financiers de façon responsable ». Les fournisseurs de services financiers doivent être contraints d’adopter des principes clairs de responsabilité et mettre en place des mécanismes transparents pour assurer que ces principes guident leur comportement dans la pratique. Leurs politiques de rémunération doivent être réévaluées à la lumière de cette ambition. La responsabilité des fournisseurs de services financiers doit inclure l’exigence de prendre en considération correctement les besoins de tous les ménages, y compris ceux dont les revenus sont bas, dans la conception des produits financiers

  • Que le G20 assure les contribuables que leur investissement dans le système bancaire est tourné vers l'aide réelle aux personnes qui sont dans des difficultés financières, en mettant en place des procédures pour forcer les prêteurs à offrir des remises de dettes aux ménages, en allongeant les dettes à long terme à des taux accessibles

  • Que le G20 mette en place des actions pour arrêter les saisies des logements et qu’ils s’assurent que les prêteurs offrent des hypothèques accessibles aux gens dont les engagements dépassent les ressources, et/ou prolongent des hypothèques afin de stabiliser les dépenses de logement à long terme en augmentant l’offre de logements à des prix accessibles. 

Le président de Debt on our Doorstep, Damon Gibbons, a commenté ainsi ce texte :

“Des fournisseurs de services financiers se sont engagés dans des prêts irresponsables et usuraires, provoquant une plus grande vulnérabilité des ménages aux chocs économiques, en les surchargeant de dettes à des niveaux insupportables. Nous nous adressons au G20 pour qu’il décide d’une pause décisive dans le court-termisme, l'avidité et l'irresponsabilité qui a causé la crise actuelle. Qu’il prenne des mesures pour assurer que l'investissement des contribuable dans le système bancaire est maintenant utilisé pour créer un système qui bénéficie aux citoyens.”

En soutenant le travail de la Coalition Mondiale, Andy Case, Secrétaire national de UNITE, le plus grand syndicat du Royaume Uni avec 2 millions de membres, y compris 178,000 travaillant dans le Secteur de la finance, a dit :

“La situation actuelle fournit une occasion de reconstruire un système financier qui soutient une perspective à long terme et est compatible avec des buts démocratiques, la stabilité financière et la justice sociale."

ID: 44422
Publication date: 24/09/09

Created: 29/09/09. Last changed: 01/10/09.
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