Sunday 18 February 2018

Is our stake in AIB stopping us backing a public bank?

Community banks could help revive rural Ireland - so why is Government dragging its heels? asks Willie Penrose

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Willie Penrose

Last week's Sunday Independent revealed the behaviour of the Department of Finance in trying to frustrate the development of Sparkasse public banks in Ireland - a move that would provide cheaper loans for home owners and small businesses.

I have raised this on a number of occasions in the Dail over the past 18 months having dealt with the German Sparkasse Foundation (SBFIC).

The foundation has done an enormous amount of work in Ireland investigating the potential establishment of an Irish-made and Irish-owned pilot local community public bank in the Midlands. They were invited in by Irish Rural Link who are generating new ideas to revive rural Ireland.

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