We MUST return to old-fashioned banking values
BY DAVE FISHWICK VAN SALESMAN TURNED MILLIONAIRE AND FOUNDER OF THE BANK OF DAVE
dmg media (UK)
OH NO, here we go again! I woke up at the start of the week to hear that one lender – Silicon Valley Bank UK – had been sold for a pound. If I’d known they were selling banks so cheap, I could have saved myself millions of pounds and ten years of my life. And I would have doubled the offer to £2. The week ended with another lender, Credit Suisse, going cap in hand for a £45billion lifeline from Switzerland’s central bank. Banks were supposed to be made fireproof after the 2008 financial crash, when we, as taxpayers, had to bail them out. So how on earth have we found ourselves in the midst of another banking crisis? In my view, we need tighter control of the big commercial banks to prevent more collapses, and to change the bonus culture. But this regulation and legislation should be proportionate, so that smaller banks – like my Burnley Savings and Loans, aka ‘The Bank of Dave’ – are not bound up in endless red tape and bureaucracy. Crucially, we need more competition from smaller, simpler community-based lenders which can grow into the safe and sound banks of the future. Without meaningful competition, the big banks continue to serve us poorly. As they continue to shut hundreds of branches each year excellent staff are being lost. The personal touch has gone, and vital local knowledge and understanding of a community is under threat. How can a head office 300 miles away decide on a florist business in Accrington without knowledge of the area or the people involved? Where does all this end? Well, I was pleased the Prime Minister spoke so positively in Parliament this month about Burnley Savings and Loans and the need for more community-based banking. We have lent over £30million to thousands of people and businesses in the UK, helped savers achieve the best rate of interest on the high street and given all our profit to charity. And, unlike the mainstream banks, we did it without taking any furlough money, proving beyond doubt we are fit and proper people to run a financial institution. Of course I would say this, but we really need to make sure there can be more Bank of Daves! The award-winning docu-series Bank Of Dave has been remastered by Netflix and will be streamed on the platform from Friday.