Motion to Young Labour policy conference (2): A publicly owned banking system

Young Labour’s national policy conference takes place 14-15 October at Warwick University. Young supporters of The Clarion are working with other left-wingers to submit a series of motions. Each motion needs a proposer and ten seconders who are individual party members under the age of 27: you can submit motions here. The deadline is 2 October.

To support the submission of this motion, please email:


Young Labour notes

1. That banks and financial institutions sparked the 2007-8 financial crisis, yet were bailed out at “taxpayers’” ie workers’ expense so they could continue largely as before – to the tune of £850 billion, £18,000 for every person in the UK.
2. That since then bankers’ bonuses have totalled £128 billion, in stark contrast to the grinding austerity imposed on workers.
3. That thousands of ordinary bank staff have been laid off and bank branches are shutting at a rate of about ten a week.
4. That the governor of the Bank of England has warned that banking regulation is largely unchanged and risks a new crisis.
5. That even the conservative Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf has commented: “Banks, as presently constituted and managed, cannot be trusted to perform any publicly important function… Today’s banks represent the incarnation of profit-seeking behaviour taken to its logical limits…”

Young Labour believes

1. That we can have no confidence in a private banking sector subject only to “regulatory oversight”. Democratic public ownership is imperative in order to guarantee economic security. We can’t control what we don’t own.
2. That Labour should adopt and promote the TUC’s policy, proposed successfully by the FBU in 2012, to nationalise the banks and create a “publicly owned banking service, democratically and accountably managed… [to] play a central role in building a sustainable economy, investing in transport, green industries, housing, creating jobs and assisting recovery in the interests of working people”.
3. That the next Labour government should bring the largest retail, commercial and investment banks into 100% democratic public ownership to create such a system, with compensation only for small shareholders.

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