Full Disclosure: Why Bank Transparency Matters

Whitni Thomas and Jessica Brown, new economics foundation

Malcolm Bush and Geoff Smith, Woodstock Institute 

This report seeks to reinvigorate the debate on bank disclosure in the UK and to create a better understanding of why it should be demanded of banks.  This analysis is carried out through detailed case studies comparing Charter One Bank in Chicago in the US – where banks have disclosed local lending practices since 1975- with its parent company Royal Bank of Scotland in Manchester – to review the level of information available and the impact that this has.

To do this we evaluate the available information on small-business lending, bank branch availability and basic bank account opening in underserved areas of Manchester.  Our analysis indicates that data on these factors is generally difficult to obtain, inconsistent, and in many cases incomplete.

Focus Area: