Call to switch banks after Libor scandal

The Christian Socialist Movement is urging people to reconsider where they are saving their money in light of the Libor scandal.

CSM said reports of mis-selling products and rate-rigging at Barclays should prompt people to take responsibility for what their money is being used for.

"We won't buy coffee that isn't fair-trade, we won't buy clothes from a sweatshop, so why should we put our money into the hands of the very people who have lied, cheated and misled us all along?" the organisation said in a statement.

CSM has long campaigned for changes to the banking sector, including the call for risky casino banking to be split from retail banking.

It warned that the Libor scandal has cast fresh doubts on the state of banking in Britain and destroyed trust in banking institutions.

Although it is looking for change across the sector, CSM said individuals also need to play their part in changing the banking culture.

It is encouraging people to start thinking about moving their accounts to ethical banks, building societies and credit unions that will use their money responsibly.

Rob Carr, of CSM said: "As Mervyn King calls for a change in culture, and Ed Miliband calls for criminal charges of bankers, we should call for more responsible use of our hard-earned money, and ethical banking.

"We also need to avoid falling into the trap of letting this become about personalities. Any inquiry needs to focus on structures and regulation, creating a cultural change where we can, once more, return to the bankers' word being their bond."

CSM said it wanted to see a shift in paradigm similar to the change in attitudes prompted by the Fairtrade movement and the Jubilee debt relief campaign.

CSM Director Andy Flannagan said, “Why do we believe that when we give money to charity it is our money feeding the poor in say, Rwanda, but when we invest in stocks and shares, it is not our money that may be exploiting natural resources in the developing world, or exploiting people working in poor conditions for little pay?

"Being separated by a few links in the chain does not remove us from responsibility.”

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