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Investment in SMEs in Yorkshire is doing well but we need a strategy for savings too

April 25, 2013

The idea of a regional bank as recently proposed by Ed Miliband is one worth considering. After all, anything which can help investment, especially amongst SMEs, is laudable. However, what should be of equal concerns is the lack of a savings culture given the poor returns on offer. This recent piece from Andrew Hagger in The Independent sums it up nicely:

The government is constantly reminding us that it wants us all to save more for our retirement, but if it can’t create an economy to stimulate the short term savings culture the long term aspirations that George Osborne may have for this country haven’t got a hope in hell.

For well over four years now customers have had to put up with a toxic cocktail of paltry savings, low interest rates and stubborn inflation.

Funding for lending may be helping mortgage customers and the construction industry, but when will the Government wake up and realise the savings culture in the UK is dying a slow and painful death? Time for a big rethink and maybe a Funding for Savings initiative.

It would be exciting if Yorkshire could be trialled for any such Funding for Savings initiative. After all it would be appropriate. The Yorkshire Post reported yesterday that a Business Growth Fund (BGF) report showed that the highest regional UK SME growth levels have been recorded in this region. The article goes on to talk about Yorkshire firm having employed ‘sound fiscal controls to move their businesses slowly forward’. The inference is that, despite the recession, there is money in the region and the ‘carefulness’ as far as money matters are concerned which of course is something of a stereotype of Yorkshire people’s personality, nevertheless has some truth in it.

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