Vinnies winning over banking system 'rebels'

With the St Vincent de Paul Society imposing collective banking procedures on its NSW branches, opposition is weakening as some discover that interest on their investments has gone "through the roof".

Online Catholics reports that the State council of the Society has stood down two regional councils, St George and Liverpool, which along with a third, Sutherland, vigorously opposed the new banking scheme.

Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, Sutherland regional council has finally relented to accept collective banking on a trial basis.

The State Council in a new "take-no-prisoners" mood has changed the locks on the large Hurstville centre which is the heart of St George's vast network of used clothing and furniture recycling worth more than a million dollars a year.

Hurstville's charity empire is so powerful that its surplus goods wind up in centres as far afield as Molong and Lightning Ridge. It's the Athens of old clothes and wardrobes.

Cliff Baxter, who wrote the Online Catholics report, suggests that after the dust settles, opponents of collective banking might find that their objections evaporate in the light of higher profits.

"In Wollongong Diocese those who switched to collective banking immediately discovered that their interest on investments went through the roof," he said.

Defenders of collective banking say that it provides greater accountability and better access for all to the Society's funds. It also enables greater discipline in an organization that is increasingly funded and scrutinized by governments.

Vinnies gets tough with 'the rebels' (Online Catholics 10/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent de Paul Society

Cardinal George Pell: A haven for the lost and hurt (Catholic Weekly 14/8/05)

11 Aug 2005