18th February 2019
PUBLIC MEETING CALLED:
– BANK CLOSURES IN SIDMOUTH:
COULD A MUTUAL BANK FILL THE GAP?
We have seen several banks close their high street branches here in Sidmouth and East Devon over the past year – and there is real concern that this will have an impact on both business and residential communities.
South West Mutual bank are a West-Country based start-up hoping to fill the gap. If their application for regulatory approval to provide a range of banking services is successful, local branches could begin to be established as soon as 2020, providing current, savings and loan accounts to customers who as members will participate in the ownership of the bank.
South West Mutual bank hopes to open in Devon.
Last year, Tony Greenham, Director of SW Mutual, presented plans for setting up the bank to East Devon District Council, who have now pledged to invest £50,000 to support the start-up.
Tony has also spoken at public meetings in Devon, including Ottery St Mary which now has no high street bank at all.
Peter Murphy who led the Economic Resilience Theme for the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan had this to say: “Our surveys of residential and business groups showed strong support for the encouragement of measures which would contribute to a self-sufficient and self-sustaining economy.
“We see all around us the signs of a vibrant local economy and maintaining access to modern banking facilities is fundamental not only for local business but also for our residents. It is essential we continue to plan to fill the gap left by current bank closures and provide for further retrenchment in the future”
Sidmouth will be hosting a public meeting and focus group in early March.
At the invitation of the Futures Forum of the Vision Group for Sidmouth, Tony Greenham will be presenting the South West Mutual vision at a public meeting on Tuesday 12th March at 7pm, at the Leigh Browne Room of the Dissenters’ Hall, opposite the Hospital in Sidmouth.
Christine Allison, a founding member of South West Mutual, said the meeting would provide information on the Bank’s current thinking around design and operation, and would present an opportunity for attendees to share their thoughts.
The objective would be to begin to build a head of steam with Sidmouth people and town council, and a lobby for SWM to open a branch in Sidmouth. The bank will need a minimum number of people to sign up and will need help with finding premises.
The meeting will be open to all members of the public: entry is free and questions are welcome.
For further information contact: www.visionforsidmouth.org/contact
Peter Murphy, Vision Group for Sidmouth: 0755 222 4802