||#PoorPayMore … iff-letter for 2017
Hamburg, February 2017 New Year Newsletter 2017 "#PoorPayMore … " Friends of iff, Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, My best wishes for a Happy New Year for 2017, in which I am now, after continuous involvement since 1983, able to hand over all responsibility for iff to a younger generation. Looking back. On 30 June 1983, we held a press conference at the Hamburg... [more...]
||Why the election of Syriza offers hope for Europe’s indebted households
The election of Syriza in Greece has sent shock waves through the international establishment as a consequence of the new Government’s determined position to write off a significant proportion of the country’s debts and reschedule the remainder for payment according to the rate at which the economy grows. It is understandable that this challenge to the troika of the... [more...]
||A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2012
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has just published its annual MIS update, which this year includes the first "rebase" of MIS budgets (those for families with children) since the original research in 2008. You can read all about it at: http://www.minimumincomestandard.org/2012_update.htm and http://www.jrf.org.uk/focus-issue/minimum-income-standards When MIS was first... [more...]
||BankTrack informs of a report that shows that major EU banks are a strong contributing factor behind food price volatility and hunger in the world.
NEW REPORT: EUROPEAN BANKS FUELLING FOOD PRICE VOLATILITY AND HUNGER European banks, pension funds and insurance companies are increasing global hunger and poverty by speculating on food prices and financing land grabs in poorer countries,... [more...]
||Credit dependency: Report by partner CfRC in the UK warns of the impact which consumer credit repayments can have on low income households and their standards of living in countries...
Can consumer credit be affordable to low income households? CfRC's latest report, published on Monday, models the impact of consumer credit repayments on the ability of low income households to afford a socially acceptable standard of living. The study, which has been funded by the Friends Provident Foundation, draws on the work of Loughborough University's Centre for... [more...]
||EU SEMINAR ON OVER-INDEBTEDNESS – ECRC partners inform the Commission at an event organised by DG Employment in Brussels on 20 November.
The event, organised by Applica, one of the coordinators of the European Observatory on the Social Situation and Demography (an Observatory that consists of four multi-disciplinary networks of independent experts established for the European Commission in 2005, with the aim to analyse social and demographic trends and to assist the Commission in its duty to report on the... [more...]
||G20 - Welcome step taken to stop banks fuelling corruption
The Global Witness sees some good news in what the G20 have agreed do. Concerned with corruption, banks have a role to play in combating this, especially in developing countries. The previous report, Undue Diligence: How banks do business with corrupt regimes, detailed how major banks including Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Citibank were facilitating corruption through... [more...]
||GO TO JAIL – In Ireland, debt default is landing hundreds of consumers in jail. Hard to believe these headlines are from national newspapers in the 21st Century. More face prison in...
COURTS JAIL 276 PEOPLE FOR DEBT DEFAULT By Seán McCárthaigh, Irish examiner, Friday, January 30, 2009 An alarming 276 people were jailed last year for failing to repay loans to banks and other financial institutions. The Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has warned more people will face imprisonment for defaulting on loan repayments due to the worsening economic... [more...]
||REGULATION OF BANK LENDING – China offers an approach which regulators worldwide should think about applying in creative ways to improve the sustainability of financial services.
Friends of the Earth and BankTrack show in their report that China’s “Green Credit Policy” will make a difference. In the current economic climate, where banks are themselves relying on external funds from the public purse, is it possible to apply a similar set of regulation to China’s but aimed at controlling the “responsible credit” impact of the bank’s consumer lending... [more...]
||REFORM AND NATIONALISATION OF BANKS – The need for a new EU action plan and why nationalisation of banks may be necessary in the short to medium term.
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON FINANCIAL SERVICES AND THE NEED FOR A NEW EU ACTION PLAN. (Extract from CEPS Commentary 21.10.08) ON THE PRUDENTIAL SIDE It is clear that the Basel ratios have not provided a clear indication of the true level of risks in banks. European supervisors have focused far too narrowly on one measure, the risk-weighted capital ratios as proposed by the... [more...]
||UK POVERTY – The Conservative party criticise Labour for increasing poverty and attribute some of the blame on rising indebtedness, which they say can be fixed through merely more...
LABOUR'S FAILURE TO TACKLE POVERTY (www.conservatives.com, Monday April 28, 2008) David Cameron attacked Labour's record on poverty at the launch of a document outlining plans to make British poverty history. Under Labour, the number of people in severe poverty has risen by 600,000 - and child poverty increased by 100,000 last year. They have failed because they've... [more...]
||UK DEBT CULTURE – The Church strongly criticises loan sharks and doorstep lending companies.
ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: UK DEBT CULTURE STRAINING FABRIC OF SOCIETY (By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent, 28/04/2008) Britain's debt culture, the millionaire bankers who have profited from it and the ministers who have allowed it have all dangerously strained the fabric of society, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said. In a pessimistic analysis of modern British... [more...]
||BANKS – Before being responsible, one needs to use ones brain
Banks are not very close to real life. When people live and get into trouble with their payments because they have an accident, loose their job or run into divorce the banks immediately recognise that not you but they have a problem: the call it "non-performing loans". In German it is even worse: the call it "credit in need" (notleidender Kredit) and not "customer in... [more...]
||POVERTY, HOMELESSNESS, EXCLUSION – Following a pertinent campaign and the use of a vacant bank branch, France will see a legally enforceable right to housing. As politicians start to...
FRANCE ADOPTS SCOTTISH POLICY OF LEGAL RIGHT TO HOUSING (By Martin Arnold in Paris, Published: January 3 2007 18:26) French politicians are loath to admit they have anything to learn from other countries, particularly on social policy. But Dominique de Villepin, prime minister, on Wednesday conceded that Paris had copied Scotland’s legally enforceable right to housing, as... [more...]
||BANK TRANSPARENCY & EXCLUSION – Voluntary disclosure of bank lending patterns in the UK has been disappointing, a regulatory alternative may be better suited to help meet the UK’s...
A recent report by one of ECRC’s many supporting organisations nef (new economics foundation) will reinvigorate the debate on bank disclosure in the UK and help create a better understanding of why it should be demanded of banks. In a country like the UK where income disparities and social vulnerabilities are significant, a focus on improving the publicly available... [more...]
||New Banks Forming To Target Niche Markets: Number of US Ethnic-ownedbanks.
With the radical changes in demographics in this country, a new batch of de novo banks has cropped up to reach out to both recent immigrants and multi-generational ethnic markets. Though the strategy of niche marketing is by no means new, the execution is increasingly innovative as these ethnic and relationship-focused banks respond to the needs of their customers.... [more...]
||OVERINDEBTEDNESS – UK poor have debt-to-income ratios of >300%. Bankruptcies and write-offs on credit card loans rise, increased borrowing costs for the poor ahead.
SOUNDING THE RETREAT (Jul 13th 2006 from The Economist) THE BANKS PULL BACK ON CONSUMER LENDING It could not have been clearer that consumer lending was out of control in 2003, when the Royal Bank of Scotland offered Monty Slater a credit card with a £10,000 ($16,300) limit and the chance to earn air-miles. Monty was, according to his owner, a “lovely shih-tzu” dog. ... [more...]
||EXCLUSION – Pawnbroking is in vogue. The British poor are forced into Victorian-type practices as they get trapped between exclusion from mainstream credit sources and predatory...
Based on a report by Elaine Kempson from the PFRC, pawnbroking figures speak of a revival in this simple (but backward) way of borrowing money. The number of sub-prime borrowers in the UK is rising again as the 9m British being denied access to mainstream credit resort to desperate measures. The lack of alternatives available to the poor and indebteded is shocking, as they... [more...]
||RETAIL BANKING: Benefits of issuing prepaid cards
Banks issuing prepaid cards to customers - most commonly the unbanked - can derive a number of advantages including: * cost benefits - on average, a current account costs a bank #30 (E44) a year to manage, whereas prepaid cards cost only #6 to #7 a year (source: Visa); * shared risks - banks can co-brand cards with partners such as supermarkets and use these joint... [more...]
||Katrina Worsens an Expected Rise in Delinquencies
American Banker Thursday, March 16, 2006 By Matthew Quinn Hurricane Katrina worsened an expected fourth-quarter rise in mortgage delinquencies, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate for one-to-four-unit residential mortgages rose for the third consecutive quarter, the trade group said. The rate rose 26 basis points... [more...]