Bringing banking back to you: the first not-for-profit community bank that works for Hampshire

One of a kind
The only real community bank in Hampshire
Lending to small and medium-sized firms in Hampshire
Our loans have already been creating jobs in Hampshire. City councils and universities in Hampshire have provided the capital for your Community Bank and the government has provided an initial revolving loan fund. Half of the returns go to HCB Foundation, a charity for the benefit of the people in Hampshire.
Safe & secure
Your money stays in the community

What makes the Hampshire Community Bank different?

The Hampshire Community Bank is not aiming at squeezing maximum profits out of you, but instead is here to help you and small firms in Hampshire.

Local deposits will be used to fund productive and sustainable investments in Hampshire.

Unlike other banks, the Community Bank cannot be taken over.

The Hampshire Community Bank is headquartered in Hampshire and all loan decisions are made by people in Hampshire.

There are no bankers’ bonuses. The profits are returned to the people of Hampshire.

Local First Community Interest Company and the Community Bank team are currently working to obtain a full banking authorisation from the Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority. Until we have received authorisation, we cannot accept retail deposits. However, you can support the launch of your Community Bank by getting in touch and letting us know if you would like to support this venture in any other way.

Hampshire Community Bank has, however, already been lending to Hampshire businesses. To date, over £1.1m have been lent to small and medium-sized firms in Hampshire, across a wide range of industries. Examples include a family-owned logistics company, a firm of architects specialising in energy-efficient buildings, a manufacturer of energy preservation equipment, a family-owned estate agent, a local builder and developer, a digital media marketing company and a recycling firm. Through our loans, over 40 jobs were created in Hampshire, and well over 100 have been preserved.

By international comparison, the UK banking sector is highly concentrated, with the top five banks accounting for over 90% of deposits. Most of that money is used to fund asset and financial transactions. The problem of high concentration and lack of meaningful competition has been recognised over the past century by numerous banking commissions and official government reports, yet until now no solution had been found. The solution is to introduce a different type of banks that operate differently and are dedicated to the local community. This values-based banking proposition will support SMEs by placing emphasis on productive and sustainable lending, thereby stimulating the real economy and creating local jobs. A virtuous cycle of growth is formed when a local, small firm-focused bank offers customer-centric, relationship-based banking services, without pushy sales techniques and without a bonus culture.

Key benefits of the Hampshire Community Bank

serves the local community and works with SMEs and councils to deliver sustainable economic growth
retains profits for reinvestment in the local economy of Hampshire
cannot be taken over or sold and will continue to exist to benefit the people of Hampshire

News: Sir Vince Cable joining the team

Sir Vince Cable, until May 2015 the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, in 2016 joined the Hampshire Community Bank as its Chairman. Sir Vince has been a supporter of German-style community banking, which dominates the German banking sector (70% of deposits and over 80% of all banks are not-for-profit community banks, either of the savings bank or co-operative bank variety). The strength and resilience of the German economy over the past 200 years, despite wars and catastrophes, has been linked to the thriving small and medium-sized firms, which account for over 70% of employment. 200 years ago, community banks were founded in Germany and quickly came do dominate banking. Since small banks lend to small firms, while big banks lend mainly to big firms, it is this structure of the banking sector that has been at the core of the long-sterm strength of the German economy. Sir Vince also appreciates the apprenticeship system, whereby community banks encourage local firms to train staff, while they themselves train generations of experienced local business leaders. For more on Sir Vince’s views on banking, please see this article, which is based on his speech at the European Conference on Banking and the Economy (ECOBATE) in Winchester in October 2013.

Some of our investors