This is an exciting new project that is being developed with the support of the Welsh Government. It aims to provide a full banking service across Wales, but unlike other banks, it will be owned and controlled by its membership, not outside shareholders.
The idea for this bank, came from the Peoples Bank for Wales Action Group and a separate group working with the RSA, and has been developed over the last five and a half years.
It was aiming to have a banking licence from the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) by autumn 2021, but the large number of new applications from European banks seeking a UK licence to avoid Brexit problems caused delays to the application process, so the whole process was delayed.
Partly as a result of these potential delays, and partly because raising over £25million would prove difficult for a start-up, the decision was taken to seek a partner. We are committed to keeping the bank as a mutual/co-operative enterprise, so we approached a number of potential partners in the sector. The Monmouthshire Building Society expressed a wish to work with us, but after almost 3 years of negotiation and planning they pulled out in June 2023.
We have another potential partner in the mutual sector with a strong ethical base who have expressed an interest, and we have started to negotiate with them.
We have the full support of the Welsh Government, including some financial assistance, and we’re working with the Royal Society for Arts & Science (RSA) and the Community Savings Bank Association (CSBA).
Follow our progress on twitter @banccambria
The Case for Banc Cambria is a summation of this learning, and is the basis from which we have started to build our co-operative bank.
We will bring you more news here, as the project develops