Bid to boost bank service disclosure

Bid to boost bank service disclosure
Regeneration & Renewal

The Pre-Budget Report said it is ‘important to understand how banks are supporting our broader community regeneration work’.

The document added: ‘The Government will therefore explore options with the banks to improve the information available on services delivered in deprived communities.’

Earlier this year, Liam Byrne, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said the Government was ‘earnestly exploring’ the possibility of US-style legislation that prevents banks from discriminating in their lending practices against individuals and businesses in deprived areas.

But last month the Treasury moved to play down reports that it is exploring the idea of introducing a UK version of the US Community Reinvestment Act.

Toby Blume, chief executive of umbrella body Urban Forum, said: ‘We’re delighted that the Government has accepted our call for banks to improve information on how they are meeting the needs of deprived communities.’

The chancellor also announced that the Government intends to put up to £75 million from forgotten bank accounts into a new ‘social investment wholesale bank’ to support third sector lenders.