Join us in Bridport to discuss the economic and social case for regional banks and to explore the opportunities and challenges of creating a co-cooperative bank dedicated to the South West.
This event will feature a talk from Tony Greenham and bring together key local stakeholders and RSA Fellows in Bridport and surrounding areas of Dorset to explore the development of a bank that will put the welfare of its local communities before profits and could become a key driver of inclusive growth in the South West.
Regional banks driving inclusive growth
Establishing regional banks was one of the key recommendations of the RSA’s recent Inclusive Growth Commission, which was designed to find practical ways to make local economies across the UK more economically inclusive and prosperous.
International evidence suggests that regional banks are an important institutional component of inclusive growth. Unlike in most European and many Asian countries, as well as Canada and the USA, regional banks are not embedded in the UK’s banking sector.
At the RSA we are supporting a new bank for the South West as part of a wider movement led by the Community Savings Bank Association to develop a UK-wide network of customer-owned, regional banks. By pursuing a different business model these banks can bring a range of social and economic benefits to the region, including:
- Tackling financial exclusion through providing universal access to banking facilities for all citizens
- Increasing productivity by investing in SMEs, with well informed decisions made by local branch managers
- Creating new local jobs with Head Offices based in the region rather than in London
As well as localised benefits, the resilience of the financial system nationally can be improved by mission-led regional banks which diversify the sector.
Bridport Literary & Scientific Institute, 51 East Street, Bridport, DT6 3JX