Banks urged to help needy

03 August 2004
Charles Kennedy has urged banks and lenders to give a proportion of their profits to support those experiencing financial hardship.

He is asking banks and other lenders to contribute as little as 0.01 per cent of their profits to increase the current provision of financial and debt counselling services.

Speaking alongside the Liberal Democrats' Treasury spokesman, Dr Vince Cable, the leader of the party said: "People who find themselves in debt need to be able to access independent financial advice as soon as they are in difficulty."

He added: "Being able to access financial advice before things spiral out of control can help people avoid the many traps that may lead to further debt."

With personal debt now topping £1 trillion the Liberal Democrats are calling on banks to act responsibly towards their customers.

Mr Kennedy concluded: "This is not a call for more government regulation. It is a call for chief executives, shareholders and senior managers of those organisations to put a proportion of their profits back into the community to help those who might be affected by financial hardship."

Supporting his leader, Dr Cable said: "The debt bubble facing the British public is truly awesome. I doubt many of us can really picture £1 trillion."

He feels that it is crucial that the network of advisory centres that already exists throughout the country is strengthened and expanded.

Dr Cable concluded: "This situation must be addressed. It is only right that financial institutions do the decent thing and give money to fund the provision of financial and debt advice to those who may be struggling to repay their debts."