David-Fishwick[1]Discontent with the banks is rife, and on this site last year we reported that in Burnley, a former cotton town, among the country’s most deprived, the Financial Times and other sources reported a citizen’s innovation: Colne businessman David Fishwick started his own lending institution to support a television show after becoming infuriated with the banking industry. In 2008 he started providing finance to help cash-strapped customers to buy his minibuses.

He set up a savings and loans institution which offered 5% annual interest, and lent it to local businesses at 8.9%, offering a personal guarantee to make good any losses. Profit left after paying the three staff of Burnley Savings and Loans was given to charity. This “bank” did not lend more than £25,000 a week and had a two-year waiting list.

It is sad to hear from Ian Potter in the Farmers Guardian that the Financial Services Authority has effectively stopped his bank taking in deposits from locals on the grounds he was operating an unregulated, collective investment scheme.

However Dave is taking on the FSA and Channel 4 is filming his progress.

Ian Potter comments:

“On the face of it, it appears the Financial Services Authority sat back watching fat cat bankers who raped this country and crippled our economy get away with robbery, yet they take the easy option to close down a community bank, the brainwave of an enterprising northerner”.

We agree with Ian Potter’s verdict: “These are real David and Goliath battles” and join him in wishing David Fishwick success.