... that this government, like the last, seems increasingly ill equipped to take on the banks. Small matter that countless times, we have shared significant evidence to suggest that bonuses on the scale our banks seem intent on paying are a con: http://zero-credit.co.uk/bonus-boloney. In many ways, it isn't surprising that our comments go unnoticed, when government agencies misreport UK borrowing and lending statistics to justify a high cost credit sector which exists purely and simply to fuel unmanageable debt. Left, right and centre, civil servants are failing to represent our interests.
In a democracy, there is an expectation that the State will intervene in matters of national interest: the economic stimuli of late 2008 were largely accepted on this basis. However, the State is ineffective when attempts at intervention continually cost the public purse and consumers remain passive. The contradiction of Charles Bean’s advocacy of consumer spending on 28th September and a mere six weeks later, Mervyn King’s concerns about half of UK households struggling with personal debt reveals the most fundamental flaw: borrowing cannot secure spending whilst demand for debt advice and insolvency soars.
Within the currency of financial services to meet basic human needs are the forces with which to control them. Consumers may not house, clothe and feed themselves when burdened by crippling debts, enterprise cannot trade with a customer base in default and nations will not survive widespread dissidence. Zero-credit is innovative in that it re-imposes market forces on a sector, which has overlooked its accountability to the electorate and its social responsibility to consumers.
Market forces begin and end with the consumer. Where consumers are willing to buy, there is a market and where not, there is none. Traditional market intelligence relies on observational methods to interpret behaviour and identify target markets, but this is inappropriate to sectors which impact on the public services of a democratically elected State. Financial services are such a market, with the overselling of largely consumer debt resulting in, and now threatening to perpetuate, the global economic crisis.
Zero-credit is pioneering a trade in market intelligence based on participatory techniques. Co-operative membership and therefore shared ownership of our company is open to debtors as consumers of credit past or present, manageable or unmanageable, and organisations may subscribe to or commission our research, training and development. With at least half of UK households currently facing unmanageable debt, and our membership open to all borrowers, we are confident of achieving the authority for consumers to engage fully in the development and regulation of financial services, so if you don't want to pay the price the banks are demanding, there's never been a better time to join us.
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