News

First Minister backs creating a ‘community bank for Wales’

08 Dec 2021 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford speaking in the Senedd

Mark Drakeford has backed creating a “community bank for Wales”.

The First Minister said the Welsh Government “committed to supporting the creation” of one that is “headquartered here in Wales” and is “run for the benefit of its members”.

He also took aim at “mainstream financial institutions”, which have ditched Welsh high streets, leaving them “bereft of facilities on which many people have relied”.

Drakeford was responding to a question from Alun Davies, the Labour MS for Blaenau Gwent, who asked if him that if moving forward with the launch of Banc Cambria “as a national community bank in Wales” was a “priority”  during a debate in the Senedd.

Davies said: “I recently met with Mark Hooper from Banc Cambria in Abertillery to discuss the availability of banking facilities in different parts of our communities. The Welsh Government has restated today, in its statement on the programme for government, its commitment to community banking.

“Would the First Minister agree with me that the priority for community banking and taking forward the launch of Banc Cambria, as a national community bank in Wales, is to ensure that people across the whole country have access to financial services in their own communities, and that some of our most deprived communities have banking and financial services available to them with branches back on the high street?”

‘Very much agree’ 

Mark Drakeford replied: “Llywydd, I very much agree with what Alun Davies said there. We are committed to supporting the creation of a community bank for Wales, headquartered here in Wales, owned and run for the benefit of its members as a mutual community financial institution.

“I know that the aim of Banc Cambria is to provide every day full retail banking services, particularly in those communities where we’ve seen a flight of mainstream financial institutions, leaving many high streets bereft of facilities on which many people have relied.

“I very well remember, Llywydd, a visit to Buckley with my colleague Jack Sargeant, where, from a single spot on the high street, Jack was able to point to four different buildings—landmark buildings a couple of them—that, even five years ago, had been occupied by mainstream banks, every one of them gone from that high street.

“And the importance we attach to the idea of developing a community bank for Wales is to bring those services back to high streets in the way that Alun Davies suggested, and particularly to do so in those places where those mainstream financial institutions, which made a lot of money out of those communities, have fled, very often leaving very little behind.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gareth Plas
Gareth Plas
1 month ago

They will certainly get my business.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

Yup, I live in Buckley and can confirm this. Even though we are the 20th most populated place in Wales, we have zero bank services here. I would be all over this if they set up here and offer me online banking at the same time. The mainstream banks can go to hell and I will be moving my account when this conspires.

JonathanEdwards
JonathanEdwards
1 month ago

Come on, Wales! Why is this not happening? Its been around long enough. You could staff the whole thing just from Cardis with experience of banking. Of whom there are many. Two warnings. (1) Need to keep it close to roots, like small Building Societies (Principality?)and TSBs and Housing Associations used to be. (2) If this is just a woke Pontcanna idea – prove its not! – Labour in Wales will appoint people whose main virtue is that they are Labour-compliant. Wales used to sprout banks of which Lloyds was merely one. But not since Labour took Wales over, 100… Read more »

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 month ago

Excellent to see that this is happening, and I shall be using them.
However, very offputting that that Mark Hooper bloke is involved, who is one of the Yes Cymru Wreckers and is such a divisive character!!

Philip Jones
Philip Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Agree. I was thinking the same until I saw Hooper’s name.

JonathanEdwards
JonathanEdwards
1 month ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

I did warn you about Pontcanna. This Hooper fella is Indycube! Don’t get me going…..Any real Welsh bankers involved? We do have plenty…

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

Well, I would consult Hodge. I remember Mr Julian’s propaganda to establish a
Welsh currency, so they have the right form. Still, not my decision.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

I’m not a fan of his but this is a laudible aim which is essential for a future indy Wales.

For that reason, I’d hold my nose and it would certainly get my business.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
1 month ago

And they will get all my business and all my families accounts

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

I’d go further Mr Drakeford. There should be a Bank of Wales. created inline with Scotland, NI & England, who all have their own printed currency unlike Wales.

We are the only home nation not to have its own printed currency to represent our great and good on. We are compelled to use Bank of England currency that celebrates English people only. Totally unacceptable.

And we have the rediculous situation where we also mint at Llantrisant, English coinage, including other countries, but not our own? No nation would accept this ongoing insult, but we do?

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Michael chubb
Michael chubb
1 month ago

I support this wholeheartedly

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

The “mainstream financial institutions” have gone. So open accounts at Banc Cambria!
One thing; a good idea would be to be very welcoming to pensioners, with seats at the
till, and time taken. I have noticed in N. Europe, that older folk take their accounts with them to more sympathetic smaller banks, the big ones having lost touch.

Adrian Roper
Adrian Roper
1 month ago

I write as someone who co-founded and chaired the Public Bank for Wales Action Group during the period 2016-2018. The Group was instrumental in creating the momentum and energy behind Banc Cambria, and a number of Group members remain closely involved. Just for the record, none of the Group were from Pontcanna. We had members from all over Wales and beyond, ranging from the young campaigners of Arian Cymru to the foremost expert on public banking in the USA (check out the Bank of North Dakota). We aspired towards a full blown Public Bank, but this will be a long… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.