Call to action from Bath People’s Assembly, Admin Working Group:
In recent months a growing number of Bath citizens have shown disatisfaction with the big high street banks. From Occupy protests to Move Your Money campaigns, people are showing that they are not happy with their huge bonus payouts, risky investments and unethical investments – and are starting to look for alternatives.
It was recently brought to the attention of the Bath People’s Assembly, a local forum for discussion and debate about local, national and global issues that Bath and North East Somerset Council bank with NatWest, which is owned by RBS. Some of the regular attendees then proceeded to set up a petition to the council to move their money to an ethical bank such as the Co-operative or Triodos.
A similar project was set up by Occupy Bristol last year. Although at one stage it appeared that their council were seriously considering moving to Triodos, all the campaign amounted to was an “ethical banking policy” – which was cleverly worded to ensure that they didn’t have to move their money from NatWest. In the meantime, Occupy Bristol generated a lot of positive publicity for them. It is important that this lesson is learned from in other campaigns.
Bath and North East Somerset Council have a petition service hidden away on their website. This is only the second petition to have appeared on the website, and only the first to have reached their threshold of 50 signatures. Although this target has now been passed, the more signatures there is on the petition, the more effective it is likely to be.