Banking on the Council

Press Release: 20/06/2014

Winchester City Council could be about to go into banking in support of local businesses.

The Council is considering financial support of £250,000 to become a founding member of the Hampshire Community Bank along with other local authorities.

Winchester has signalled its interest in contributing to the £14m equity needed to set up the bank if certain conditions are met.

The Hampshire Community Bank (HCB) would be a not-for-profit operation focusing on Hampshire. In time it would provide a full range of banking services to individuals, businesses and social enterprises living, working or operating in the county. The overall aim of the bank is to help secure a strong and sustainable local economy.

Cllr Rob Humby, the Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

Cabinet is backing this initiative, subject to full Council approval, because the Hampshire Community Bank can be a major new element of our support to the Winchester economy, helping local people and businesses.
Experts believe there is demand in the market for a bank that serves the needs of the local community and works with businesses, councils and charities to deliver sustainable economic growth and fulfil social objectives.

Similar not-for-profit operations have worked successfully in Germany for 200 years and account for three-quarters of all retail bank deposits and lending to small and medium-sized enterprises there.