Ireland’s Public Banking Forum Asks Government, Industry to Look to German Model

December 2, 2013

For Immediate Release
Contact: Matt Stannard
Development Director, Public Banking Institute

Ireland’s Public Banking Forum Asks Government, Industry to Look to German Model

Over the weekend, Ireland’s public banking advocacy group, the Irish Public Banking Forum, released a statement challenging “the Irish government, Irish industry, the Irish people, and the Irish credit union industry to examine in detail the German Sparkassen model of public banking” and to implement public banking throughout Ireland.

Such a move, the statement concludes, will favor “stability over the boom bust model” and create “banks which service the Irish people.”

The Irish government bailed out big banks in 2008, guaranteeing against unprecedented liabilities and going bankrupt as a result. The ensuing €85 billion rescue from the IMF and European Union imposed austerity conditions on Ireland and massively undermined public services in the country.

Germany’s Sparkassen banks are savings banks devoted to local economic development. According to Civitos, the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, the German model “focuses on relationship banking and using local savings deposits to support local enterprise.”

“Austerity is the only thought process being worked by official Ireland,” the Irish Public Banking Forum statement says. “During this current crisis in Germany, the Sparkassen banks increased lending by 17%, while the private banks cut lending by 10%.”

During a recession, according to the Civitos group, banks using the Sparkassen model “are more likely to protect their business community as they have a stake in survival of the local area.”

The Irish statement concludes with an invitation for people of Ireland to join the Forum and the movement for public banking.

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