Liberal Democrat members of the House of Lords have today welcomed news that the big banks have agreed to reveal how much they are lending locally for the first time.
The Treasury has today announced that the UK’s biggest banks will reveal how much they lend at a local level by publishing detailed data broken down across 10,000 individual postcodes.
The move follows pressure in the House of Lords led by Lib Dem peers Baroness Kramer and Lord Sharkey.
Baroness Kramer said today: “This is a vital first step to ensure that no community is excluded from access to proper financial services and left to the mercy of payday lenders.
“Armed with this information local authorities, social enterprises and the banks themselves can find ways to tackle damaging exclusion.”
Lib Dem peers pushed for an amendment to the Financial Services Bill –now Act – forcing banks to publish more detailed local information on local lending as it passed through Parliament last year.
Following negotiations between the Government and the seven major lenders the new data will allow it to be clearly seen how the banking sector is serving the wider economy and in what areas of the UK there is a lack of lending.
Lord Sharkey said: “We must now make sure that other lenders including payday and other high-cost lenders make the same information available.
“Access to credit at a fair price is essential to successful communities and economic growth.”
Published and promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at LDHQ, 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE.