Arab Today, arab today british city goes rogue with own currency
Last Updated : GMT 13:52:15
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

British city goes rogue with own currency

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today British city goes rogue with own currency

London - AFP

AS BRITAIN loses faith in its banks and feels shockwaves from the euro crisis, one city is trying to keep local wealth in local pockets with the launch of its own currency. The Bristol pound — usable only with member businesses in the city in southwest England — is to launch in September, and organizers are deluged with local firms wanting to sign up. “The perception of banking and money is that it’s a very ruthless system: People are out for what they can get,” co-founder Ciaran Mundy told AFP. “This is about saying yes to something new. It’s tapping into a different set of values about money.” The scheme has “captured people’s imaginations,” he added, in a recession-hit year when British banks have been beset by scandals and ministers talked openly of a possible euro collapse. Hundreds of businesses have joined, from the acclaimed Arnolfini arts center to the Chandos deli chain, and the launch had to be postponed from May to Sept. 19 because of the level of interest. Security professional Richard Wright signed up his company Wright Guard as soon as he heard about the Bristol pound, hoping it would help him fight back against encroaching security giants. “I’m Bristol born and bred, and I always want to support local businesses,” he told AFP. “I’ll want to keep the Bristol pound flowing.” The notes feature symbols of local pride from nineteenth-century religious writer Hannah More to the Concorde aircraft, partly developed in Bristol, and images of the St. Paul’s Carnival Caribbean street festival. Evoking a long history of dissent, one side of the £5 note shows a tiger writing on a wall in graffiti: “O Liberty!“ Other British towns have launched local currencies, but Bristol, home to half a million people, is the first big city, and its scheme is ambitious. Businesses can pay local taxes in Bristol pounds and the council has offered its 17,000 staff the option of receiving part of their pay in the currency. Mundy’s team — funded initially by grants — have designed an electronic system for payments by text message, plus what they say are forgery-proof notes. Stores selling products from cider to skate shoes said they were considering joining the scheme, which Mundy believes will have a tangible economic effect. “Eighty percent of the money leaves the area if it is spent with a multinational — but 80 percent stays if it is spent at a local trader,” he said. Such localism might seem strange in a city that grew to prosperity as an international port and is now a center for aircraft manufacture. But Bristol is also a left-wing haven with an activist tradition. The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, an urban renewal group, made headlines last year with a campaign that became a riot in protest at the opening of a Tesco supermarket. They have greeted the Bristol pound warmly. “We need to run things from the bottom up and from the grassroots, so that people have control over how things happen where they live,” said spokesman Chris Chalkley. But Louisa Jones and Joh Rindom, co-owners of Stokes Croft vintage clothing store Shop Dutty, thought the scheme would just add to their administrative burden. “We’re skeptical that having a micro economy within a macro economy is a bit backward,” Rindom said. Ben Yearsley, investment manager at Bristol-based financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, also won’t be rushing to convert his sterling. “It’s just a big gift voucher scheme... I’m skeptical that it’s going to make any difference,” he told AFP. “Local businesses need to compete on quality and service.” The Bristol pound will not be legal tender and must be exchanged through the Bristol Credit Union, with a three percent charge for conversion back to sterling. This and charges on electronic transactions will pay its running costs. Despite the naysayers, Mundy hopes hundreds of thousands of Bristol pounds will be traded in its first year, increasing to “double figures of millions” by the third. His model is the Chiemgauer, a German complementary currency of which millions of euros’ worth is traded yearly. Online database complementarycurrency.org lists more than 225 such minority currencies worldwide, of which 102 are in Europe. They have won a high-profile advocate in Bernard Lietaer, a Belgian economist who helped design and implement the convergence mechanism for the euro. “We will never have a stable, sustainable monetary system with a single monopoly of a single type of currency, whoever manages it,” he said in a lecture in Brussels. “Everybody can do something at their own scale... sustainability requires diversity,” he added. Mundy said that the ultimate test of his system would be the market. “If people freely decide to market and trade with each other (in the currency), they should be able to do it,” he said. “If we’re not doing a good job they won’t use the system. Consumers will decide.”

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today british city goes rogue with own currency Arab Today, arab today british city goes rogue with own currency

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today 17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016

GMT 00:47 2017 Monday ,27 February

17.4 million tourists visit UAE in 2016
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars

GMT 03:52 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Ayat Abaza says state TV presented major stars
View News in Arabic - Business: مصارف
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 07:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Ola Ghanem hopes to work with M.Ramadan

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday