Citation Birchall J (2013) Finance in an Age of Austerity: the power of customer-owned banks. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. http://www.e-elgar.co.uk/bookentry_main.lasso?id=15074
Abstract This is a book in search of an alternative to the discredited investor-owned banks that have brought the rich countries into crisis and the world economy into a long period of austerity. It finds customer-owned banks - credit unions, co-operative banks, building societies - have hardly been affected by the crisis and continue to operate according to their organisational DNA: low-risk, close to the customer, underpinned by real savings, and still lending to SMEs to protect jobs and local economies. They are big business - in some countries with over 40% of the market - but networked in smaller, democratic societies whose origins go back to 1850s Germany.