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‘Clean the banks’ campaigners hopeful for Vince Cable backing on RBS and finance sector demands

By PLATFORM et al. | United Kingdom, May 12 2010

Vince Cable will oversee business and banking in the new UK government, which could signal good news for campaigners pushing for a clean-up of the financial sector. Campaign groups the World Development Movement, People & Planet and PLATFORM have been calling for a stop to reckless behaviour by the banks even before the financial crisis began. Recently they have organised high profile protests targeting the use of taxpayers' money by the Royal Bank of Scotland to finance high-impact oil and gas extraction, including tar sands operations, which are having devastating impacts on indigenous communities in Canada and on the climate.

Deborah Doane, director of the World Development Movement said:
"We are pleased to hear that Vince Cable, who has consistently spoken out in favour of regulating the banking sector will be part of the new coalition government. Lib Dem policies have been very progressive in the area of finance sector regulation, supporting the Financial Transaction Tax, a new Green Investment Bank and intervention to curb speculation through splitting up the banks. They also committed at their Party Conference last year to end taxpayers' support for RBS' investments in tar sands extraction. Introducing these policies from the outset would signal a real commitment to cleaning up the mess that the financial crisis has left Britain and the world in."

Ian Leggett, director of People & Planet said:
"The LibDems have long recognised the need to align our ownership of banks such as RBS with broader policy objectives such as the transition to a low carbon economy. Prompt action to ensure that public money does not go into tar sands in Canada or new coal-fired power stations will inspire confidence that this new government is serious about creating a low carbon future."

They are also encouraged by the senior Lib Dem MP's plans to launch a green investment bank, and hopeful that he will drive forward plans to raise money through a tax on speculative bank transactions.

Kevin Smith, co-director of PLATFORM said:
"Vince Cable needs to ensure that the reform of the banking sector involves addressing environmental as well as financial sustainability. The new government's plans for a Green Investment Bank will be dramatically undermined if it continues to allow RBS to use public money to support and expand carbon intensive industries and operations around the world."



Kate Blagojevic, Press Officer World Development Movement

020 7820 4913


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RBS was founded in 1727 and is one of the major UK banks. RBS has 40 million customers using the financial services of over 30 brands, including NatWest, Direct Line, Churchill,…

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