Saturday, 4 June 2011

That A4e bank

As Mark Lovell pushes for a financial and banking role for A4e, we should remember that their plans for a bank have a long history. I've described before how the plans came to nothing, but I've only just come across this lengthy piece in the Telegraph from September 2006. It describes, entirely uncritically, how A4e was "in talks with a major South African banking provider for the new service, which should have as many as 150 branches. Plans were submitted to the Financial Services Authority in London some months ago." (We know that this South African bank was Capitec, and that A4e actually set up Capitec UK.) "A4e said the venture was likely to cost between £50m and £100m in the first instance." £1m of public money was subsequently allocated for this venture by a section of the North West Regional Development Agency.
The writer of this piece, Christopher Hope, raises no doubts. He doesn't ask whether it's appropriate for this company to enter retail banking, targeting the very people it gets money from the government to help. But 2006 was the point at which insanity in the banking system was poised to crash and ruin us all. It doesn't seem very likely now that we'll see A4e Bank (or Capitec UK) branches on the High Street. But the ambition hasn't gone away. And when Lovell's latest thoughts on the subject are published in the Telegraph, will anyone go back 5 years and look at the history? I doubt it.


  1. Again no new ideas. Just a rehash of former ones. Lke the fashion market you have seen it all before. It is o so predictable.

    The Work Programme And The Over 50s

    The vast majority of long term unemployed are over 50 and under 25 ( I think). I wish I knew what the two percentages are.

    In the case of over 50s does the Governemnet really think Providers like a4e can help them back into sustainable employment? What specialist help is on offer for them I wonder, paticularly the over 50s?

    Providers will have to contend with the ever growing number of over 50s as the state pension age gradually increases.

    I can see Providers being highly frustrated at the impossibilty of helping to find employment for the over 50s with no financial rewards whatsoever reaped. I suspect on the whole they will be flogging dead horses for two whole years. That is really a complete waste of time and resources for this particular client area on both sides unless there are indeed new inspirational measures, which i doubt.

    Farrewell, Almost!

    I signed on three days ago, third last time for me. There was yet another new Adviser, She was about to refer me to the two year Work Programme.

    I told her that I was due to sign off shortly and receive State Pension. According to their records I will be receiving Pension Credit not State Pension. (However you only receive Pension Credit at the same time as your qualification for State Pension!.)

    In the end the Job Centre deferred referral to the provider for a month and, I think, want to see a letter from the DWP stating when my State Pension begins. Ah well I will just take it just in case!

    What a shame that I am denied the Work Programme! I was quite happy in inverted commas to go onto it for a month just to see if anything changes for the better there, or would it be the same old story.

    I eagerly await future recruits personal feedback!

  2. Happy Retirement, Simone!


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