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Online forum to explore community banking

April 13th, 2021 2:50 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

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AN online event taking place on Wednesday April 14th will explore the potential for community focused banking to help reorient the Irish economy in a healthier direction.

This event, the first of two on finance,  is being organised by FEASTA,  (Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability) and the Cork Environmental Forum,  and will run online from 10am to 11.30am.

Speakers at the event include Caroline Whyte, an ecological economist doing research and advocacy for FEASTA, who will address the global economic and environmental context of community banking.  Also speaking  will be Seamus Maye from the Public Banking Forum of Ireland  who will speak about the work of the Forum and Community Banking in an irish context and Bridget Meehan, a left activist and writer and co-founder of the Northern Mutual campaign for a mutual bank in the north of Ireland and her topic will deal with democratising finance with mutual banking. The Green Party spokesperson on Finance, Neasa Hourigan TD, will speak on the need to ensure regional and under-served community access to banking services with a view to establishing a material public banking system.

The withdrawal of Ulster Bank and the recently announced closure of 103 branches of the Bank of Ireland is adding to a worrying sense of precarity in the Irish financial sector. The Covid pandemic, a loss of confidence stemming from commercial bank scandals over the past few years, the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crash, and the many pressing social concerns we are facing - including the housing shortage, rural depopulation and unemployment - are all sources of concern.

And looming in the background are the environmental crisis and (related) resource depletion, exposing the sector to risks which, while hidden to many, are nonetheless alarming.

This event will present practical possibilities from a community perspective, and will include a question and answer session.

To register for the event see - https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/banking-on-the-community-investing-locally-for-resilience-tickets-147985200719 i

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