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New ethical bank for region to be launched in Swindon

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Jules PeckJules PeckPlans for a new regional bank focussed on ethical lending to small local businesses will be unveiled in Swindon later this month.

Avon Mutual is being established as an alternative to the 'big banks'. Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bristol, Bath & North Somerset as part of a wider movement led by the Community Savings Bank Association to develop a UK-wide network of customer-owned, regional banks.

It will support small local enterprises focussed on issues such as building zero carbon homes and developing sustainable food and farming for the bioregion.

The partners behind the bank say Avon Mutual will bring a range of social and economic benefits to the region, including:

Tackling financial exclusion through providing universal access to banking facilities for all citizens

Increasing productivity by investing in SMEs, with well informed decisions made by local branch managers

Creating new local jobs with Head Offices based in the region rather than in London

The new bank is supported by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, which called for the establishment of regional banks in its recent Inclusive Growth Commission, which was designed to find practical ways to make local economies across the UK more economically inclusive and prosperous.

A meeting to discuss the development of Avon Mutual and the social, economic and environmental case for regional banks will be held at the Swindon headquarters of Thrings Solicitors, 6 Drakes Meadow, Swindon, SN3 3LL on Tuesday, May 22 from 7pm.

Speakers include Jules Peck, founding director of Avon Mutual, Ian Larrard, director of Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative at Business West, James Moore, chairman of the Community Savings Bank Association, and Louise Oliver, president of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs.

For more information, or to book a place, visit www.thersa.org/events/fellowship-events/2018/5/a-mission-led-bank-for-the-west-of-england-swindon