Mutual, politically driven banking: that\’s the way to stop property booms!

Isn\’t it? If only we got rid of those short termist shareholders and insisted that local people borrowed local deposits, along with the helping hand of local politicians to ensure that the local economy is considered, then everything would be just lovely and kittens would gambol in the Sun again:

Promoted with a memorable TV campaign fronted by Jack Nicklaus and a very slick sales operation, Polaris convinced thousands of buyers – many from the UK – to pay top prices for property in the desert.

Many put down large deposits on more than one property hoping to cash in on rising values. At the peak of the market some made a profit, but as the financial crisis began to unfold in 2008, prices began to fall. The company kept building despite the slump in the prices of its existing developments. By 2010, Polaris World was forced to relinquish most of its assets – the golf courses and unsold properties – to a consortium of banks led by CAM Bank (Caja de Ahorros del Mediterraneo), the leading lender behind the Murcia building spree.

In December last year, CAM was sold to Banco Sabadell for just €1 – after Spain\’s deposit guarantee fund injected €5.25bn into the stricken lender.


\”Caja\” is Spanish for local, not for profit, mutually owned with lots of local politician involvement, bank.

It\’s possible that this might not be the solution then, eh?

2 thoughts on “Mutual, politically driven banking: that\’s the way to stop property booms!”

  1. Lots of people seem to repeat to each other this silly idea that mutual banking is somehow immune to property bubbles and bank crises.

    At least where I live, Finland, it was the other way round: the 1990’s bank crisis was largely caused by the mutual banks (savings banks). The not-for-profit local banks practically annihilated themselves in their greediness.

  2. Why is any of this news? I guess that the journo has just returned from a holiday in Spain and needed to raise some cash to pay for it. Slightly more honest than claiming for a digital camera, I suppose. With the benefit that I don’t get to pay for it in my insurance premium.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *