Transition Stroud

This is a shared history blog. Together we can write the history of our process of transition as it happens.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Teasles or Old Spots?

I'm feeling rather annoyed with myself since I suggested both these names and then split my vote for an interesting and creative symbol of Stroud's economic heritage as the name of our new currency! I'm surprised by how well teasles did - it suggests that the knowledge of Stroud's textile heritage is both widespread and valued. (For those who don't know the role of the industrial teasle, it was used to raise the nap on felted woollen material to make it soft and lovely.)

On a harsher note we have received word from Co-operative Futures in Gloucester that the Financial Services Authority suspect us of setting up a bank. Now that would never do - especially as none of us has a pinstripe suit or bowler hat. Not to mention a licence to print money. The FSA has achieved notoriety in the past year by harrying credit unions and other people's banks while allowing the city institutions to make reckless investments and bankrupt the country.

We need a legal framework because we will be taking in large sums of money. We have chosen to become a co-operative but Co-operatives-UK legal department are concerned about whether we fit within the FSA's definiton of a bank or not. I'm fairly optimistic that we won't, since we don't want to create money against debt, which is how a bank is defined for their purposes.

We are also taking advice from local currency founders in Totnes and Lewes. Others with expertise that might be useful - financial or accounting especially - would be very welcome to join the working group and the co-op.


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