Friday, July 24, 2009

Artist Takes His Money From The Bank, And Why Freelancers Should Be Paying Attention.

If you've haven't read the story yet, the short version is that New Zealand bank Westpac declined to give prominant artist Roger Griffith a loan for a home. despite the fact that he'd been banking there for 25 years. He decided to remove his $190,000 in 20's and move to a local bank.
The interesting part of this story?
The bank wouldn't give Roger a loan because, as an artist, he couldn't show a steady source of income. Even though he made plenty of money and had plenty of assets. Kind of like a freelancer. Kind of exactly like a freelancer actually.
The thing is, every time I turn around I'm meeting a new 20 something self start. They are extremely talented, they understand how to do business, and they know how to work with other freelancers or small businesses to get larger jobs done. Creatives are increasingly "going off on their own".
But we won't be getting home loans if we ask large banks?
It seems to me like those rules are getting just a touch archaic. As business practices change and freelancing loses the stigma of "I work out of my car and make no money", large institutions will have to change as well.
Here's a great Freelancers Union to check out if you're in the New York area. (You can join if you're not in the area too, you just won't be able to participate in as much but it's really nice to know this group is there.)
With the business perks set up mostly for large businesses, it's difficult as a freelancer to navigate these systems but as the numbers of freelancers grow exponentially as layoffs continue and the tech industry continues to boom, it will be interesting to see how the banks will react.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an hilarious action!

It is so typicall that the banking world is always discriminating people with certain professions, while most banks screwed up bigtime worldwidth and therefor needed way too much financial injections,read our tax money, in order to stay alive.

As a co-owner of 2 small companies, I had similair issues. My companies are worth enough, yet it is very odd that my employees are able to get more (private) mortgage / loan then me. And the only reason the banks would give me is the argument of "job security". While I really think that freelancers and people with other independent professions are by far better able to provide themself some income in times like recession.

Roger Griffiths, my respects for this action you pulled :)

The Netherlands

July 25, 2009 at 9:02 AM  

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