Some ideas that come across from the USA can be a little scary: I sometimes wonder if we’ll ever be comfortable with the police using Taser guns. Other stateside products, like junk food, are downright dysfunctional. But after the recent financial near meltdown, there has emerged a rather sensible idea for managing personal money.
This idea has crystallised into the MoveYourMoney campaign: the idea is simply for ordinary folks, what the banks would call current account holders, to take their money out of the big banks, and instead open accounts with neighbourhood banks or credit unions. It’s a way of demonstrating that you’re putting some distance between yourself and those institutions that made some pretty reckless decisions and brought the financial system a little too near the precipice.
But, so what? What about us here in the UK? What indeed. Someone else has clearly been watching events stateside: today in the Guardian, John Harris is thinking along very similar lines. His solution is straightforward: you can move to a bank like the Co-Op, which at least attempts an ethical dimension to its investment strategy.
Personally, I’m glad of the company, having binned my previous bank – now deeply indebted to the Treasury – for pastures new.