European Conference on Banking and the Economy

Wed 12/10/16 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Sir Vince Cable and Banking Experts to Discuss Future of Hampshire Banking in Winchester Guildhall

Sir Vince Cable, the former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, will come to Winchester Guildhall for the 4th European Conference on Banking and the Economy (ECOBATE 2016). Sir Vince and a number of experts and local banking leaders will speak about the future of banking in Hampshire and beyond. Unlike with other gatherings on banking issues, the ECOBATE events have made their name as being open to the general public and popular with interested citizens from Hampshire. The organiser, Professor Richard Werner, professor of banking at the University of Southampton, remains keen to attract the interested local community:

“Banking affects us all. We are all fed up with the big banks and their sharp methods. But few people are aware that it is possible to build our own local banks that benefit the local economy. This is what we are doing with the Hampshire Community Bank. I hope many residents of Hampshire will use this opportunity to attend and make their views heard”, said Professor Werner.

Sir Vince Cable has been backing the establishment of the Hampshire Community Bank, which is the first of a new kind of local bank that could reshape the UK banking industry. The conference brings together academics, banking leaders, policy-makers and the general public. There will be opportunities to ask questions and join the discussions. Many experts, staff from local authorities across the UK, but also a wide cross section of society will gather in Winchester Guildhall to hear more about this new approach to banking, focussed on the local community and local firms.

“Banking is changing”, said Professor Werner. “While there are a number of new challenger banks in the UK, these are all for-profit enterprises that are likely to be swallowed up by large banks in the future. We need ‘more than profit’ banks.”

Mr Georg Fahrenschon, the President of the German Association of Public Savings Banks (Sparkasse) will also speak in Winchester on the afternoon of 12 October, and discuss how Germany succeeded in keeping hundreds of community banks alive and thriving, and how this has been supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, the backbone of the German economy in the past two hundred years. The German community banks are famous for having increased their lending to local firms after the recent financial crisis, so that there was no downturn in the economy in Germany.

The conference also features the former German Economy and Defense Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who is tipped as a future successor to Angela Merkel. Local representatives include Prof. Neil Marriott, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Richard Hall from Future South (formerly Future Solent), and representatives from local authorities and local businesses.

The public is invited to attend from 4pm at Winchester Guildhall. Those unable to make it at 4pm can join the final session from 6pm to 8pm.

The conference is sponsored by the University of Winchester, the Centre for Banking, Finance and Sustainable Development at the University of Southampton and the Association for Research on Banking and the Economy (ARBE).