What is it?
Tynedale Community Bank is the brainchild and product of the work of many locals but Lauren Langton has been the lynchpin of our efforts to provide a not for profit community bank that is one step above a credit union and more local and accommodating than a High Street Bank.
High street banks have closed hundreds of branches in recent years - many of them in the North East.
Our new Tynedale Community Bank is an old-style savings and loans business; it is similar to a credit union, but on a larger scale.
People want a community lender, based in their community, with the profits going back to the community. I am absolutely certain that large numbers of people will make the decision that some or all of their money should be in our community organisation rather than a multi-national bank based far away. Why would you want to bank with a bank in Frankfurt or Shanghai or London when you could trust your money to a community bank, which is helping your local community? Thus far we have had a lot of success.
How safe is my money?
Tynedale Community Bank is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, like the big-name high street banks, to ensure savings are protected as they would be anywhere else. Your money is fully regulated and protected. We are in partnership with the Prince Bishops Bank in Stanley, County Durham.
Taking on the pay day lenders:
The bank will help fulfil the Church of England’s aim of ensuring people no longer have to rely on “payday lenders” which provide loans but charge massive interest rates. Payday lender Wonga currently advertises loans on its website with interest rates of more than 1,000%.
In 2013 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the Church would put Wonga out of business by helping local financial co-operatives play a much bigger role in helping people with money problems.
Cross Party Support:
The Labour MP, North Durham MP Kevan Jones, who is involved with the Princes Bishop Community Bank in Stanley, County Durham, is also a supporter. Kevan and I disagree on several things but we are as one on why the Tynedale Bank is a wonderful thing. We have worked together hand in glove to make is work.
At our launch in November Kevan Jones said: “People tend to look at rural areas and think there is no poverty there, but there is financial poverty in these communities. That’s why a bank like this can make such a difference.”
Media / TV coverage:
This is the ITV take on our launch.
The Chronicle has done a piece on the launch last November here:
We are in the Beaumont Hotel this Friday from 9.30-12. Lauren, Alastair, and other members of the team will outline what we have done, the nature of the deposits, the way in which we make loans, and how the bank works. You can also sign up for savings or a loan then.
Please come down and find out more.