Green MEP uses Pope’s visit to draw attention to ‘deadly sins of banking’

On the day that Pope Francis spoke to the European Parliament, Molly Scott Cato MEP has launched a Green website called the Seven Deadly Sins of Banking [1]. In a speech to the Parliamentary plenary session in Strasburg Dr Scott Cato urged people to use the site to find out the truth about the flaws in our banking system and to assess the performance of their own bank or building society [2].

7deadly_sinsDr Scott Cato, an economist who sits on the Parliament’s Economics Committee, also raised the issue of the recent stress tests on European Banks in her speech. She said:

“While the recent stress tests of European banks have shone the spotlight on some of the weakest sections of the banking sector, this should not divert attention from the need for decisive structural reform of the banking industry. The two most important causes of the financial crisis have still not been addressed: first, we need a clear-cut separation of retail from casino banking activities; secondly, we need to reduce the size of individual banks so that no single financial corporation can threaten the global financial system.”

Dr Scott Cato went on to cite the recent example of the Royal Bank of Scotland, accused of misleading regulators and deliberately undermining their own customers. She said:

“Banks are still nowhere near the responsible corporations serving the real economy that we need them to be. They are still too big and too interconnected to fail.”

Dr Scott Cato also called on the Parliament to confront head on the vast and growing levels of debt which she described as ‘the fundamental cause of instability in the monetary system globally’. She urged MEPs to challenge the notion of a money creation system that relies on allowing private banks to create money with a simultaneous creation of debt.

Molly Scott Cato concluded: “The Pope has spoken a lot about the imbalance and inequality in our society that has resulted from upholding ideologies based on markets and financial speculation. Today seems like a great opportunity to launch a site which will enable people to learn about the terrible wrongs inherent in our banking system and the solutions that Greens in Europe are proposing.”


[1]  The Seven Deadly Sins of Banking website lists the seven deadly sins of banking as: addiction, megalomania, distortion, exploitation, greed, trickery and recklessness. Each ‘sin’ is backed up by figures and statistics together with Green solutions.

[2]  The website provides an assessment of UK banks and building societies in relation to issues such as whether they finance the real economy, the debt they hold, the degree to which they speculate and its approach to tax havens.