10th October 2003 at 01:00
The geography of banking presents a range of possibilities for the secondary curriculum. Some of the resources below would need to be adapted for KS3 but would be ideal for independent investigation for older students.

* For the role of the World Bank in development, visit "Topics in Development" and "Research". Compare this information with the view from non-governmental organisations - use "Third World Debt" to search for a wide range of links (PoS 6i).

* Use banking as an example of a trans-national corporation: visit the HSBC site And go to "About HSBC - Introduction - International networks". This lists all HSBC offices worldwide, providing rich data for mapping and analysis. (PoS 2d, 2e, 6h).

* Research the impact on levels of development of "alternative" banking systems - eg the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh was set up to help the poorest people by giving loans without collateral - see www.grameen-info.orgbank (PoS 6i).

* Map the distribution of banks and cash machines in a small town or district of a large town. Analyse the distribution. Are banks clustered in particular locations? Why are cash machines found in petrol stations? (PoS 1c, 1d, 2b, 2e, 4a, 4b).

* Carry out a web enquiry into the growth and development of call centres (search for "call centres + banking + UK" andor visit Where are these centres being set up, and why? What impact are they having on the economy and environment? What is the future for this industry? (PoS 6h).

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