Sunday, 28 July 2013

Holy credit!

It is being reported in the U.K. that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, wants to make the Church of England’s property available for Credit Unions so they can wipe out those dastardly payday loan sharks; evil, nasty people that they are. Jan Boucek writes at the Adam Smith Institute blog that this is a brilliant idea with wide-ranging opportunities for both entrepreneurial clerics and banks.

Boucek explains that
Just consider the convenience for consumers of banking and praying at the same time. After the queue for communion, you simply shuffle over to the bank teller next to the altar to pick up your loan or maybe deposit whatever spare change you have after passing the collection box.

Meanwhile, over in the confessional, the priest can follow up an absolution prayer with a financial product pitch – “Have you considered insurance for seven years of drought?”

Recruitment of young folk into the priesthood has become a real problem for the Church but Credit Unions on site offer an added attraction in the area of branch security. Wearing body armour under cassocks, learning a martial art or designing bank vaults disguised as crypts will broaden the profession’s appeal.

Of course, established banks won’t be sitting still against this new competition on the High Street. Many branches surely have space available for any number of religious sects to set up shop.

What depositor with a bag full of cash could resist first lighting a candle in the hopes his deposits won’t attract the attentions of the taxman? Impatient couples could stop off at the on-site wedding chapel before opening a joint bank account.
Imam calling for midday prayers while you’re stuck in the queue behind the old lady counting out thousands of pennies? No problem – step aside to our prayer rug area and we’ll hold your place in the line.

And what customer wouldn't appreciate an evangelical choir lifting the spirits before meeting the bank manager about those persistent overdrafts?
Its good to see that entrepreneurship is not dead in the Anglican Church after all. What new financial instruments will the Catholic Church offer to compete with the Anglican innovation? And what of the Scottish Presbyterians? How will they react? A free haggis with each new loan?

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