On 3rd September 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, led a debate in the House of Lords on a motion to ask Government “what assessment they have made of the implementation of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards and the opportunities for further banking reform”. The Bishop of Birmingham also made a contribution, which can be found here. The Bishop’s speech introducing the debate is below, as is the Government response:
Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I add my welcome to the noble Lord, Lord Bethell, in his new role and I look forward to working with him.
I begin by acknowledging that the banks have an important role in our society today. They do many good things—they employ more than 1 million people and pay more than £60 billion in tax annually—but, despite the many good things they do, we are also aware of the history of recent years. We are now 11 years on from the financial crash and six years on from the publication of the report by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, and it is almost three years to the day since I last secured a debate on this topic.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans leads Lords debate on progress made in banking reform”
On 1st May 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Stevenson of Balmacara, “That this House takes note of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 (Naming and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/383).” The Archbishop of York, Most Revd John Sentamu, spoke in the debate:
The Archbishop of York: My Lords, I want to support the main thrust of the speech from the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, about debt. Julia Unwin, who was chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, did a big research project on why people were going to Wonga. They went to Wonga because it asked no questions; people knew they could get their payday loan. Other lenders asked more questions and were far more intrusive and credit was not readily available. Noble Lords know that my archiepiscopal colleague, the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that he intended not only to reform Wonga but to do away with it, and we know what has happened to Wonga.
Continue reading “Archbishop of York on the need for access to low-cost credit”
On 6th September 2018 Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of demand for debt advice services; and what steps they are taking to reduce the level of household debt.” The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark: My Lords, with the demise of Wonga, which I hope the Minister will want to join me in welcoming, does he wish to take this opportunity to endorse the work of the many credit unions which are a channel for such sound advice? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark welcomes demise of Wonga and praises work of credit unions”
On 12th July 2018 Lord Leigh of Hurley led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion, “That this House takes note of the measures being taken to promote personal savings and the role they can play in building a stronger and fairer economy.” The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, on behalf of the House, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Lilley, for his splendid maiden speech and look forward to many contributions from him in future. He mentioned the kingdom of Mercia; Chester was the northern outpost of that kingdom, so I look forward to collaboration with the noble Lord, as we do collaborate on a think tank concerned with energy and climate policy. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester highlights importance of credit unions and financial education”
On 1st March 2017 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Mark Hendrick MP on the Churches Mutual Credit Union.
Churches: Credit Unions
Mr Mark Hendrick (Preston): To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what plans the Churches Mutual Credit Union (CMCU) has to allow members of religious denominations other than the Church of England and the Catholic churches to become members of the CMCU. (64096) Continue reading “Church Commissioners – Clergy Credit Unions”
On the 26th May 2016 the Second Church Estates Commissioner. Mrs Caroline Spelman MP answered a written question to the Church Commissioners about the Church of England’s engagement with credit unions.
Continue reading “Church Commissioners Written Question: Churches – Credit Unions”
On 11th April 2016, Lord Holmes of Richmond asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are intending to take to address the issue of the unbanked and underbanked in the United Kingdom.” Lord Ashton of Hyde responded. The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, asked a follow up question. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham highlights importance of Credit Unions”
On 17th March 2016 Lord Young of Cookham asked Her Majesty’s Government, “following their announcement concerning the Help to Save scheme, how many people in work and receiving either Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit are expected to benefit from that scheme.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, will the Minister affirm the importance, in addition to the Help to Save scheme, of the increasing number of credit unions which routinely go into schools to try and create a culture of saving from the very earliest age, to address the endemic problem of a presupposition of debt? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans praises work of credit unions in schools”
On 28th October 2015 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, answered a written question from Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, on the church’s work in promoting credit unions.
Gareth Thomas: To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church Commissioners are taking to promote the use of credit unions in the work of the Church of England; and if she will make a statement.
Mrs Caroline Spelman: The Church of England’s work in support of credit unions has been led by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings, chaired by Sir Hector Sants.
Nationally, the Task Group has developed a number of strategic, church-led initiatives, including matching the resources of local churches with the diverse needs of local credit unions through the Church Credit Champions Network. To date, the pilot scheme has engaged over 200 churches, trained 150 Credit Champions and is on target to bring in 3,000+ new credit union members across London, Southwark and Liverpool dioceses, with plans to roll out to 30 more dioceses from next year. Continue reading “Update on the work of the Church in promoting credit unions – written answer”
On 26th October 2015 the House of Lords debated at Second Reading the Government’s Bank of England and Financial Services Bill. The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Rev Christopher Foster, made a short speech welcoming any measure that would promote diversity in the financial services sector, including credit unions.
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: My Lords, this Bill offers an important way to confirm the Government’s commitment to promoting real diversity in the financial services sector. I want to make a very brief contribution in support of such diversity. Continue reading “Bishop of Portsmouth asks Government to support credit unions and diversity in financial services sector”