[Update on Monday 4 June 2012: The RBS MoneySense reception in the Scottish Parliament has now taken place, but MSPs representing three political parties - Labour, the SNP and the Scottish Greens - have all expressed misgivings about RBS teaching Scottish schoolchildren about money. The Scottish Greens even had a representative expressing concern at the reception itself. I have attached the responses of MSPs as comments at the foot of this article. Please write to at least one of your MSPs on this issue if you haven't already done so. but, obviously, leave out the reference to the parliamentary reception in the suggested email below. ...And please also consider signing this petition to get Scotmid to bank with a more ethical institution than RBS! You can see photographs of some of the fun campaigning myself and others have been doing lately on the Occupy Free Radicals site.]
As part of a wider campaign against unethical banking (see this petition to get Scotmid to bank ethically), I have just emailed my MSP as below. If you agree with what I say, why not copy this email and send it to one of your MSPs? You can find your MSPs’ contact details by entering your postcode here.
I am writing to you, my parliamentary representative, about an issue that, I believe, goes to the heart of what is wrong with our society. I am dismayed that the Scottish Government allows the Royal Bank of Scotland, through its MoneySense programme (http://rbsmoneysense.co.uk/schools/), access to our schoolchildren.
RBS has an appalling record on human rights and the environment, reflected in its abysmally low Ethiscore of 1.5 out 20 (see http://www.moveyourmoney.org.uk/what-about-my-bank and click on the RBS link for details) and an equally bad record of financial mismanagement. Indeed, many believe that it contributed significantly to the present economic crisis (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/4578546/Bank-bosses-from-RBS-and-HBOS-apologise-for-crisis-that-led-to-37billion-bail-out.html). It is surely not a fit and proper institution to teach Scottish children about money. If any external organisations should be allowed to teach children about money in our schools (questionable in itself) then it should, I contend, be Move Your Money UK (http://www.moveyourmoney.org.uk/) and Positive Money (http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/).
Quite apart from the content of RBS’s MoneySense programme, I feel that by allowing this dubious institution into our schools the Scottish Government is effectively endorsing it and allowing it effectively to advertise itself to our children. This whitewashing/greenwashing/advertising opportunity should be withdrawn immediately.
I am asking you, as my MSP, to:
* raise my concerns with the relevant Scottish Government ministers, and
* boycott the upcoming RBS MoneySense reception in the Scottish Parliament and/or use it as an opportunity to raise these issues with RBS and the Scottish Government.
I look forward to your response.