What Sort of Bank Would these Be?

Learning from the Past, Building for the Future

A gateway to financial inclusion across the region, each bank focusing exclusively in its own region, making sensible use of technology, valuing local knowledge and building in strong legal protection, these new banks will remain true to their founding principals and won’t make the same mistake as the original regional banks.

Customer Owned & Local – All are Welcome

Each Bank will be registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. A bank will be run on the principle of one member one vote.  

A Bank will only deal with its own members. Membership will be open to any resident who meets the residency qualification irrespective of the income they may generate for the bank. Each member will be required to purchase at least one share (£15). Resident means an individual on the electoral register in the region; or a corporate body which has a registered office or has a significant financial or commercial interest in the region; or a local charity or community group.

Restoring Mutual Trust

Its very important that these banks restore the mutual trust that’s been lost between banks and customers. To give the foundations of that trust legal protection written into the constitutional documents of each Bank are principles requiring them to operate prudently and responsibly.

The members will elect the Board and set their remuneration. To be fair, we’ve capped the highest salary that can be paid to no more than ten times the lowest.

There are promises that the bank will make to each member and promises that each member will have to make to the bank. Mutual trust.

Honest and Transparent - No Apparently Free Banking

There isn't really free banking and we won't pretend that there is. All members, both individual and corporate, will pay a modest fee, so that the banks are able to operate with sustainable, economic levels of profitability, with profits being re-invested in the business or returned to its members.

Bricks, clicks and flicks.

Off course there will be the easy bits of apps and internet banking but there will also be a mixture of modern manned and automated branches using our innovative BankPod® technology. Current accounts are at the core of the bank. The branch automated functions, available 24/7, will include cash withdrawal, paying in (cash & cheques), bill payment, account queries, statement printing, account management and safe deposit boxes. There will be a local video-enabled customer service centre to deal with any issues raised in the automated branches and online.

You want to use mobile banking, that's fine. You want to use internet banking, that's fine. You want to use a branch, well that's fine too. Some other useful thing comes along, we'll adapt.

The Central Role of Local People

Each bank will be managed, operated and be held accountable from within its own region. No distant head office.  Each manned branch will have a Branch Director who will be critical to the operation of the bank. All loan requests will have to be made through them. No loan will be granted without their approval.

Long-term Anchor Institution - Not for Sale or Moving on

Each bank will only operate in its own region for the long-term benefit of its people and their businesses. Recycling local savings into local loans and contributing to community wealth. That’s very different to a bank that happens to have a local presence or moved there for a grant or because it could pay low salaries and could be gone tomorrow or sold.