I am VERY impressed with the news from the good little Isle of Eigg that not only are they now fully supplied with electrical energy for the first time and ALL of it comes from their very own renewable sources!
I am considerably NOT impressed though by the Internet bank Egg who have apparently taken the UNILATERAL decision to cancel the credit cards of one-hundred and sixty-one thousand people; that is more than one in fifteen of their customers.
The Eigg scheme is a combination of windmill and hydro-electric and solar power providing more than 95% of their needs, with battery storage (and emergency diesel generators) to cover any gaps. This has been in the planning for TEN years, ever since the islanders gained their independence from the absentee landlord that used to own their little island. With help from Europe and the Lottery added to their own contributions they have seen their dream become a reality.
Good for them! We should take careful note and see how successful this is – it could be the blueprint for a much larger, nationwide energy self-sufficiency plan!
Such LONG-TERM planning is, of course, not to be found in the world of BANKERS. They are too busy playing with their small change.
The Egg bank was recently bought out by the gigantic Citibank Group and they have made a "review" of their new acquisition and decided to SQUEEZE the customers for more money.
They claim that they are cancelling all those credit cards because these people's "credit risk" has worsened – meaning that they are more in debt – which would be bad enough, since they are not going to give people the opportunity to put their credit risk right. But there is the SUSPICION that actually, Egg are REALLY getting rid of the GOOD customers, the ones who pay off their bills every month… i.e. the ones who do not give Egg whopping great interest payments every month.
This, of course, is because it is EGG'S credit risk that has worsened, what with the Credit Crunch making banks realise that the REALLY risky customers are… other banks.