Banking on the community, investing locally for resilience: webinar on April 14

This event, the first of two on finance organised by FEASTA and the Cork Environmental Forum, will explore the potential for community-focused banking to help reorient the Irish economy in a healthier direction.

The withdrawal of Ulster Bank and the recently announced closure of 88 branches of the Bank of Ireland is adding to a worrying sense of precarity in the Irish financial sector. The COVID pandemic, a loss of confidence stemming from commercial bank scandals over the past few years, the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crash, and the many pressing social concerns we are facing – including the housing shortage, rural depopulation and unemployment – are all sources of concern.

And looming in the background are the environmental crisis and (related) resource depletion, exposing the sector to risks which, while hidden to many, are nonetheless alarming.

So how can we adapt our financial sector to help alleviate this situation? What useful lessons can be learnt from elsewhere?

This event will present practical possibilities from a community perspective, and will include a question and answer session.

Register here.

Speakers will include:

Caroline Whyte, FEASTA – The global economic and environmental context of community banking

Caroline Whyte is an ecological economist doing research and advocacy for FEASTA. Her particular interests are in financial system reform and climate change mitigation.

Seamus Maye, Public banking Forum of Ireland – Community Banking in an Irish Context

Seamus Maye is Joint Chairman of the Public Banking Forum of Ireland (PBFI). He is well-known for his work in the areas of Competition Economics, Competition Law, Company Law, Banking, Professional Negligence, Fraud and Political Reform.

Bridget Meehan – Democratising finance with mutual banking

Bridget Meehan is a left activist and writer, and is co-founder of the Northern Mutual campaign for a mutual bank in the north of Ireland.

Neasa Hourigan, T.D. – A new context for public banking

Neasa is the Irish Green Party Spokesperson on Finance. She plans to speak on the need to ensure regional and under-served community access to banking services, with a view to establishing a material public banking system.

Access to the event is via zoom and a link will be sent in advance. You can register here.

Follow-up Event Autumn 2021

Our follow-up event, to be held in the second half of 2021, will focus on ‘top-down’ measures, including legislation and changes to central banking policy, that could help to bring about a systemic transformation in finance in Ireland and elsewhere.

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