Wednesday 21 November 2018

People's bank a Fingal 'win, win'

Cllr Tom O’Leary
Cllr Tom O’Leary

A local councillor says that a so-called 'People's Bank' in Germany who wants to expand into Ireland, will be a good fit for Fingal.

The prospect of German community bank, Sparkasse setting up in Fingal was discussed at a recent council meeting where Cllr Tom O'Leary called on the council to enter into discussions with the institution.

Cllr O'Leary said he is maintaining 'ongoing discussions' with the bank is 'very impressed' with their successful banking model.

The Fine Gaell councillor said: 'There is a need for serious competition in the retail banking sector. The current players in the retail banking sector are shrinking services to customers, and charging them more because they can.'

Outlining how the model might work in Fingal, he said: 'The Sparkasse Bank would be owned by the Community in trust by Fingal County Council with a directors board from the community and a professional banking management board to oversee the operations of the bank.'

He added: 'All profits are reinvested in the local community ie Fingal or reinvested in the bank to provide more loans to local customers at discount rates to the current commercial banks.'

Cllr O'Leary sees a potential partnership arrangement between the bank and Irish credit unions and said the model could be a 'win, win' proposition for both.

Cllr O'Leary said that following his recent motion at the council: 'Fingal County Council will investigate this community model of banking and invite Sparkasse to meet the councillors and officials at the Ecominic Development SPC Committee chaired by Cllr Kieran Dennison Fine Gael.'

At the national level, he said: 'The Government will shortly issue a report on the Sparkasse proposal.' He added: 'I understand that Sparkassen will make a presentation to the Dail Finance Committee in October this year and I hope that their proposal will achieve cross party support.'

Cllr O'Leary concluded: 'It's time our Government stepped up to the plate and actually encouraged and facilitated the entry of Sparkassen Community Bank into the Irish market so that we never see a repeat of anything like the tracker mortgage scandal.'

Fingal Independent