Banking and Finance

Edinburgh Central sends radical "global climate justice" policy to Labour conference

Republished from Momentum Internationalists Edinburgh Central Constituency Labour Party has decided to send the "Global Climate Justice" motion which left activists successfully put forward in Momentum's policy primary to Labour conference (see text below). Vijay, the the CLP's Political Education Officer and one of its conference delegates, explained why Edinburgh Central wanted to call for democratic public control in the financial sector: "Regulation simply isn't enough - we need to nationalise the banks and financial sector because we cannot allow that much capital and power to remain in...

Socialist Worker and the banks

The SWP's paper Socialist Worker has published a number of articles (rightly) praising Extinction Rebellion's focus on the City of London.

NatWest privatisation: why is the labour movement silent?

The government still owns a majority of one of the UK’s biggest banks. Instead of using that stake to impose any kind of public accountability or social responsibility on NatWest, the Tories are pushing ahead with the sell-off of the government’s stake – at a massive loss to taxpayers. Yet the labour movement is silent. Despite a majority of its shares being owned by the government, in the last four years NatWest Group has provided over $13bn of funding for fossil fuel projects, 46th worst of all the many thousands of banks in the world. It recently announced plans to distribute £3bn to its...

Momentum hides banks policy

In April members of Labour left organisation Momentum voted in a “policy primary” for motions to promote for this year’s Labour Party conference. Two of the eight motions decided called for public ownership and democratic control of the banking and financial sector. Yet as XR’s action targeting finance and climate change unrolled, on 27 August Momentum social media put out a video with economist Grace Blakeley calling for “regulation” of the banks to tackle climate change. The Facebook status and tweet promoting the video also call for “regulation”. Not public ownership or democratic control...

Reading and resources on taking the banks and finance into public ownership

• To download / print our petition calling on the trade unions, Labour Party and Green Party to campaign for public ownership and democratic control of the big banks and financial institutions, so their resources can be used to tackle climate change, boost living standards and reduce inequality, instead of funding fossil fuels and increasing the wealth of the rich at our expense - click here. Online version can be signed here. • For a model motion for CLPs, union branches, etc, from Momentum Internationalists, see here. • Buy the Momentum Internationalists pamphlet Build Back Socialist, which...

HSBC profits and bonuses soar while it vandalises society. Expropriate the banks!

UK-based international banking and finance giant HSBC has increased the “bonus pool” for its bankers by 50%, to £650m, after its profits grew more than fourfold in the second quarter of 2021. It says it may increase it further before pay-outs early next year. Last year HSBC paid 324 of its bankers more than £850,000 in salaries and bonuses, while eight received more than £4m and one more than £8m. This comes hot on the heels of HSBC being embroiled in a major international money-laundering scandal; the revelation that it was the second biggest UK financial backer of companies in the coal...

Bank workers and transforming finance

Sam Myerson, until recently a worker at one of the big banks, spoke to Solidarity. Until a few months ago I worked in IT, for one of the big six in the UK. We were a ‘global team’, working with colleagues in many countries in Europe and Asia. I did that job for six years and different jobs in the same organisation before that. I don’t think the issues we faced were unique to my company. From working with others I have the impression it is similar across the sector. A lot of the changes we had to manage were driven fundamentally by cost-cutting, by attempts to eliminate human labour from...

"Public ownership is just as necessary for banking as health and education"

Marxist economist Michael Roberts (thenextrecession.wordpress.com) has long argued and campaigned to take the banking and financial system into public ownership. He spoke to us about why. Why is public ownership of banking and finance an important demand for the working class and labour movement? What are the key arguments? Banking is an important service for ordinary workers, households and businesses, particularly small businesses. When we get our wage packets, they’re normally paid into bank accounts, and when we conduct most of our transactions they’re conducted with bank cards or credit...

Momentum votes to campaign for public ownership of the banks

Momentum members have voted to prioritise eight motions for the 2021 Labour Party conference (September 25-9, Brighton). The motions prioritised are: “£15 minimum wage”; “Time for proportional representation”; “Green jobs revolution”; “Global climate justice”; “Build council housing and end homelessness”; “Reject integrated care systems, renationalise England’s NHS and social care”; “A four day week for a society in which we work to live, not live to work”; and “Build back fairer: attack poverty and inequality”. Momentum's office says that the Momentum National Coordinating Group will add...

Mick Brooks and expropriating the banks

Longstanding socialist and Labour Party activist Mick Brooks (1948-2021), who died in January as a result of complications from Covid-19, was co-author with Michael Roberts of the Fire Brigades Union’s 2013 pamphlet on public ownership of the banks and high finance, It's time to take over the banks. (The two also ran regular Karl Marx walking tours in London.) In the face of multiple convulsive social crises, the demand for public and democratic control of finance is more relevant and urgent than ever. Mick continued to vocally and actively make the case for it. For those who did not know him...

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