Local banks are starting to make a comeback. But only when the big banks disclose their levels of investment in deprived areas can the problem be tackled, says Jennifer Tankard. The shock waves of the financial crisis have left many of our local communities faced with rising unemployment and personal debt problems, cuts to public spending and falling living standards.  At the same time small and medium-sized businesses, the engines of economic growth, are struggling to access credit, making start up, expansion and consequent job creation increasingly difficult. There is a significant and growing evidence base about how and why the current British banking market is having a negative effect on British businesses, especially SMEs, and on communities in deprived areas. This goes further than restrictions to credit, resulting in increasing reliance of businesses and communities on high cost, short term solutions to credit and finance shortages, such as increasing … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Jennifer Tankard
Jennifer Tankard is chief executive of Responsible Finance