Green Party Finance speaker and lead South West European candidate Cllr Molly Scott Cato said:

"The Green Party believes that we urgently need a separation between essential day-to-day banking activities relating to households and businesses and banking activities relating to financial markets which are inherently more unstable. It is disappointing to see Labour taking such a feeble line.

The banking catastrophe is not an example of a failing market that can be saved by a little more competition. Nothing short of determined political action to separate retail and commercial banking and the introduction of a test of social usefulness for financial products can protect society from another banking crisis and ensure that this most vital sector works for the common good."

The Green Party's proposals for a banking system that will serve the interests of citizens and the businesses they build and work for include:

Green Party Logo• A clear separation of retail and commercial or so-called 'casino' banking;

• All derivatives and complex financial products to be subjected to a social usefulness test;

• Retain stakes in taxpayer-owned banks and transfer their assets to a network of community banks.

• A network of public, not-for-profit community banks that would support the development of community economies by providing local businesses with low-cost funding.

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