Suggested wording on public ownership of banks, August 2021

1. The stark warning from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the need for extremely radical changes to meet this emergency.
2. The role of big banks and financial institutions in funding fossil fuels and other environmentally damaging industries. The world’s top 60 banks have provided £3.8trillion for fossil-fuel companies since the 2015 Paris climate deal.
3. That UK bank Barclays was the seventh worst, and the worst among European banks.
4. That in 2019 the City of London provided loans and investments for companies and projects that emitted 805m tonnes of CO2, 1.8 times UK net emissions.

Further notes:
1. That banks and financial institutions play a deeply antisocial role – aiding and encouraging corporate environmental and social vandalism while enriching their bankers and top officials, sacking workers, and closing branches.
2. That in 2008 UK-based banks were bailed out with hundreds of billions and facilitated to carry on as before, at working people’s expense.
3. That in 2012 and 2019 TUC Congress passed resolutions from the Fire Brigades Union calling for the big banks and financial institutions to be taken into democratic public ownership, to create a public banking, pensions and mortgage system – allowing their vast resources to be shifted from fuelling emissions and making the richer richer to combatting climate change, tackling inequality and providing good jobs, services and housing. The policy conference of Unite, the largest finance sector union, has passed similar.

1. To call for unions to actively campaign for this policy, and for Labour to adopt and campaign for it.
2. To circulate the FBU’s pamphlet “It’s Time to Take Over the Banks” (
3. To host a public discussion, inviting an FBU representative, and economist Michael Roberts, who wrote the pamphlet.

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