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The China earthquake and access to banking

Nearly a month on from China’s devastating earthquake (brilliantly covered by Zennon), news has slipped from the UK's front pages but there is, of course, still a huge operation under way to try and help the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been torn apart.

We received a press release earlier this week from a tech vendor called GRGBanking which is based in the city of Guangzhou. It’s been working with Agriculture Bank of China to build 10 “tent banks” and 50 mobile units to provide those affected with access to financial services and ATMs.

Whilst I feel slightly uneasy about firms seeking publicity for their good deeds (its not just GRG; corporations have fallen over themselves to tell us about their donations) I’ve no doubt the move will do genuine good.

Whenever natural disasters strike the appeals machine quite rightly cranks up as NGOs call for money to help the victims.

However, it’s often forgotten that, in order to rebuild their lives, those affected don't just need donations, they require access to their own money and simple, practical measures like this can make all the difference.

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