What is a community bank anyway?

Taking back control of banking

A community bank is a bank that is owned by its customers, or members, who must live in the local region. The community bank keeps local money in the local economy and serves the financial needs of the local region and the local region only.

A community bank offers the full range of day-to-day banking services and products that you’d expect from a conventional bank, things like fully functioning current accounts and business accounts, mortgages, personal loans, business loans, with the business accounts and loans being with local small to medium sized businesses and the self-employed.

Most of the bank’s members will be people of modest means from the local region e.g. private individuals, the self-employed, small and medium sized businesses, local charities, and local community groups.

A community bank is not a Credit Union. A Credit Union offers savings and loans but doesn’t offer current accounts, mortgages or business loans. A community bank offers all of these services. It would complement the Credit Unions and would be able to work alongside them, with the bank taking care of everyday banking services and the Credit Unions taking care of savings (as they already do now). The ideal scenario would be for the Credit Unions to join forces with Our Money, becoming a partner in the short-term and a community bank itself in the long-term.