HCSB in Walthamstow is selling printed bank notes to raise money to buy local debt
First there were the banks. Sending credit cards through the post, offering easy loans. They overstretched, teetered. Then came the billion-dollar bailouts, recession, austerity, poverty and payday loans.
Then, slowly, came the movement: a piecemeal, sporadic effort to buy back the debt of ordinary people.
Now in north-east London, an enterprise that is part art installation, part stunt and part charitable endeavour, has brought all the threads together: a bank that prints its own money, sells it for real tender and uses the proceeds to buy back the debt.
Hilary Powell and Dan Edelstyn have taken over an old Co-op Bank on a high street in Walthamstow and are printing money featuring the faces of people behind four local services a primary school, a foodbank, a youth project and a soup kitchen.