South West Mutual
South West Mutual is a member-owned, high-street bank dedicated to residents and small businesses.
South West Mutual was formed to establish the region’s first ever member-owned high-street bank, helping people and small businesses in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. The aim is to support inclusive and sustainable prosperity across the region with a community bank, owned and trusted by its members.
The bank is currently awaiting authorisation by the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority to offer banking facilities to rival other high street banks including local branches, digital channels and current accounts, with the ambition to launch in 2021. In the last couple of years, a number of local authorities and councils have pledged support for the development of the new bank, with Plymouth City Council being the latest to join the bank as a founder member.
Tony Greenham, Executive Director of South West Mutual, said: “More of the important decisions that affect our economy should be made not in the City of London, but closer to home.
“We believe that a mutual bank dedicated to the sustainable prosperity of the South West will make a vital contribution to levelling the economic playing field for the region’s people and businesses.
Tags Community banks
New rules needed
Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.
Introduce a Co-operative Economy Act
A legal framework tailored to the needs of co-operatives and supportive of their future development.
Expand the community and co-operative banking sector
Stakeholder banks can be mandated to serve the public interest or local communities rather than simply to maximise returns.
Launch a national investment bank
National investment banks can steer capital towards public priorities and economic transformation.
Cap the cost of credit
Credit cards and other debt need to be regulated like payday loans.
Turn RBS into a network of local banks
New banks would be owned in trust for the public benefit and mandated to lend only within their local area.
Create new sources of finance for co-ops
Create financial instruments and institutions tailored to the needs of the co-operative economy.