Do you want the banks to change the way they do business? Would you like to see the bankers squirm? Then read on.


But first a question. Who owns the money that you or maybe your employer has deposited in your bank account? The answer is, not you! Under established case law going back to 1811 (Carr v Carr, Devaynes v Noble and Foley v Hill) the money deposited with a bank belongs to the bank to do with as they wish. They just owe you the money and must give it back when you ask for it.

That then unbelievably gives them the power to create money by lending and investing what they already owe to depositors. Just search 'Fractional Reserve Banking' to find out more. The danger is that if all depositors turned up at once to ask for their money the bank could not honour the commitments and would collapse. A classic 'run on the bank', something all bankers dread. It also leads to these constant booms and busts that no-one seems to be able to stop. Stages where the only winners seem to be the bankers.

But two MPs, Douglas Carswell and Steve Baker, have presented a bill before parliament under the 10 minute rule (Standing Order No 23) to fundamentally change the face of banking by forcing the banks to provide deposit accounts where you, the depositor, own that money by law. So the banks cannot use it without your express permission. This is something to be supported.

That will reduce the amount of money that banks can use to re-invest in their sometimes dodgy financial instruments for short term gain and bonus taking. Can you feel the bankers beginning to grow nervous? Can you imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth if this bill called the 'Financial Services (Regulation of Deposit and Lending) Bill' made it into law?

Back to reality. A 10 minute rule bill is generally used to test opinion and very rarely makes it onto the statute books ………. unless of course a majority of MPs support it.

To get to law the bill has to go through several stages:

First reading. (Done).

Second reading. (19th November).

Committee stage.

Report stage.

Third reading.

Majority vote.

Passed to House of Lords to go through a similar procedure.

Royal assent.

That gives the bankers plenty of scope to lobby and lunch wavering MPs.

You though can do your bit. A simple letter to your MP asking them to support this bill or an explanation as to why they cannot or will not support it.

Once the fair wind of the electorate's wishes is behind them the law-makers will have no choice but to vote for it.

It is helpful to join pressure groups and write to the press etc, but they do not vote on such matters. It is your MP that does. So make your views known to him/her. Don't let this one chance in a lifetime pass you by. Be sure to be polite, put your full name and address on it and state that you wish them to support this bill at every stage. Please use your own words, templated letters generally don't carry the same weight.

But be in no doubt that the banks will put many obstacles in the way. They will claim that charges for holding peoples' (electronic) money will be prohibitive, they will say it won't work unless every bank in the world does it, they will wriggle and squirm at every turn and try to water the bill down until it is meaningless.

Those two Conservative MPs (yes it takes two Tories to stand up to the banks) have got their work cut out. Even if this catches the public's imagination and support it will be a very uphill struggle indeed. They will need your support every step of the way. Become a change maker by forcing your MP to back this into law.

And should anyone doubt Douglas Carswell's ability to back a cause to the hilt, remember he was the one that put forward the motion of no confidence in the then Speaker Michael Martin in May 2009.

When considering whether to be bothered to write or not look at how many MPs are in the chamber while Douglas Carswell speaks and how many leave. Also remember that, to re-jig an immortal phrase, just recently "never in the field of human banking, has so much, been taken from so many, by so few".

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