A meeting will be held with Tony Greenham, Director of Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing at the RSA, about the possibility of a Regional “Bank of the South West”. The meeting is on Thursday 26th October at Exeter Community Centre 7.00pm till 7.30pm.
As you may know, the RSA is supporting the creation of a network of customer-owned regional banks. I have attached further details about the meeting and the proposal for a South West regional bank.
“At the RSA we’re supporting the Community Savings Bank Association create a UK-wide network of customer-owned, regional banks to serve the everyday financial needs of ordinary people, local community groups, and small and medium sized companies.”
Such a bank would obviously be offering finance to local and regional businesses including those in Exeter, as well as offering retail services and a repository for ordinary peoples' savings which can be rechannelled within the region. Such a bank would be similar in scale to the German regional banks, which withstood the financial crisis much better than the UK national and international banks.
“The need for regional banking was highlighted in the RSA's Inclusive Growth Commission where we saw that lack of access to appropriate banking and financial tools can have a serious impact on people on low incomes or with a poor financial history, as well as on SMEs and micro businesses. Incredibly, there are over 1.7 million adults in the UK that don’t have a bank account, while at the same time the pace of branch closures has accelerated rapidly, leaving 1,500 communities without a bank. Whilst already severe, these challenges are likely to become even more acute in the context of Brexit and upcoming reforms to local government financing. There has never been a more urgent need to rebalance the UK economy.”