We have been working with the New Banking group, and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd, to develop practical policy detail about how to develop a more effective banking system in the UK – one that works for SMEs and local economies.
The present banking system is highly centralised and no longer has the infrastructure necessary to serve local economies.
We realised we would also have to put this issue in context. The question of how you make local economics work for local people has been dismissed as too local, too much like economic plumbing to interest the strategists. But it actually goes to the very heart of two issues:
- How to re-balance the economy away from dependence on financial services.
- How to underpin genuine devolution by supporting a mea
- sure of local economic independence.
Our report, The next devolution, sets out how we might shape a policy response to these questions. It is a work in progress in the sense that this can only be an interim answer: but it sets out a direction of travel.