Tony Benn, the original 'Bennite'
Tony Benn stood among many great men but he stood out.
During Harold Wilson's Government, Benn was postmaster general. In this position he oversaw the opening of the Post Office Tower which was the UK's tallest building. Benn was also a part of the creation of the Girobank.
On the 40th anniversary of the Girobank, Benn said,
“It’s relevant to be talking about this subject at a time when the private banks are in a less reputable state than they were, discussion of a publicly owned bank is now very exciting.”
“We set up a bank without nationalising anything.
“It became the sixth-biggest bank in
,” Mr Benn continued. “Then, in 1978, Girobank was relaunched as a fully fledged bank but, in 1989, Mrs Thatcher sold it off to Britain Alliance and Leicester.
“Then, in 2003, the name Girobank was dropped.”
The organisation chalked up notable firsts. It was the first bank designed with computerised operations in mind; the first bank in Europe to adopt OCR (optical character recognition) technology, the first UK bank to offer free accounts to individuals; the first bank to offer interest-bearing current accounts, and the first bank in Europe to offer telephone banking, operating several years prior to the start of Midland Bank's First Direct service. It is widely credited for shaking up the UK banking market, forcing competitors to innovate and respond to the needs of the mass market.
On this day, 14th March 2014, the Bootle Financial Services Branch of the Communication Worker's Union pay high respect to Tony Benn and our deepest sympathy and love to his family and friends.
Thank you Tony...