Post Bank 'could become a large-scale social lender'

New Economics Foundation's campaigns consultant prepares to submit detailed blueprint to Government before 21 July

A second set of proposals for a UK Post Bank is expected to include plans to make it the country's largest social lender, according to one of the organisations helping to develop the idea.

Lindsay Mackie, who is campaigns consultant at the New Economics Foundation and one of the authors of an initial set of proposals for a UK Post Bank put forward in March, said a more detailed blueprint for the bank would be submitted to the Government before the 21 July recess. She said the proposals were likely to include making the UK Post Bank a large-scale provider of credit.

The proposed bank would combat financial exclusion by providing banking facilities to anyone in the UK, and would offer services through the existing Post Office network. Two hundred MPs have signed a parliamentary motion calling for it to be set up, but the Government has not responded.

"The bank has to be about social inclusion and increasing the flow of cash in local economies," she said. It would be developed as a social enterprise, she added. Mark Lyonette, chief executive of Abcul, the umbrella body for credit unions, said he was in favour of a bigger lending role than was proposed in the first report on a UK Post Bank.

"The Post Bank proposals that have so far been made public don't address the fact that one of the needs for people with low incomes is around credit," he said.

"We'd like to see social lending being carried out through the Post Office, and we'd like to see credit unions and CDFIs play a large role in that."

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