LETTER: Not slavery

TO ACCUSE Christian Aid of "well-intentioned economic slavery" ("Ethical bank passes judgement on Third World Aid", Business, 2 April) is a little over the top, even for an ethical banker like Terry Thomas of the Co-operative Bank.

More than a third of the £33m we gave overseas last year was spent on refugees and other emergency relief. No bank is going to lend money to hungry and homeless families.

The bulk of our aid is for "development", whether digging wells or legal help with land rights - small-scale projects for which bank loans are notoriously difficult to secure. We also support revolving loans for income generating projects, as Mr Thomas saw in Ghana.

Christian Aid values its partnership with the Co-operative Bank. Together we believe we can find even more effective ways of working with the Third World poor to end the slavery that desperate poverty imposes.

Jenny Borden

Christian Aid

London SE1