The fact is, credit is both necessary and central to the global economy. Economists like Lazzarato have come up with theories about how debt drives economic production and an ever-increasing economy and in an era where finance has come to dominate our economy, it is evident to everyone that banks are very powerful institutions and if they could be reformed could be the power behind substantial improvement in our economy.
Democratisation of our banking sector, via co-operatives and credit unions, is something that merits serious thought.
Co-operative banks have their roots in working class emancipation, and in particular migrant communities who had to develop their own infrastructure to exist. The first coop was developed by German farmers in the 18th century and the first credit union in the UK was started by Afro-Caribbean migrants in 1967. Though still a minor section of the domestic banking sector, in the last decade the co-operative banking sector has grown dramatically with credit union membership increasing from just over 650,000 members in 2008 to just under 2 million today.