DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP asking him to consider a Help the High Street scheme in the run up to Christmas which would not cost the taxpayer a penny but would ensure the banks step up and help out.
Mr Campbell explained,
"Alongside the Chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme winding down, the financial institutions have reported significant increases in deposits from customers. Most of this has arisen as a result of the pandemic lockdown when opportunities for social expenditure were extremely limited.
Banks have reported over £170 billion languishing in 0% interest rate personal accounts. The Government should pressurise the banks, many of which the taxpayer saved, to step up and Help the High Street.
I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him to hold discussions with the banks and other financial institutions with a view to offering a boost to the High Street at an absolutely critical time.
Even in a time of extremely low interest rates, if banks and building societies were to offer to their customers a one off “1% interest rate coupon” on these accounts, which was only redeemable at retail outlets rather than online traders, this would provide an up to £1.7 billion boost to the High Street.
Such a scheme would provide a welcome boost to the spending habits of many consumers.
I have been in touch with locally based banks and with representative bodies of retailers who have expressed support for such a scheme being explored.
The Chancellor needs to persuade the financial institutions to make a move like this which would be in line with their social responsibilities and to do it in time for the upcoming Christmas season.
The public will join the pressure on institutions that were bailed out by the public purse in the last financial crisis and it would be a boost to the economy, the High Street and assist wider consumer confidence.
Finally, it wouldn't cost the taxpayer a penny."