On 1 July 2020, Mr Bernd Grund joined the board of Hampshire Community Bnk Ltd. as director, having arrived from Germany to settle in Winchester.

Mr Grund has successfully managed and developed a number of SME lending focused cooperative banks as executive director for well over a decade. He will focus on the financing needs of SME customers.

Meanwhile, the existing corporate customers of the Community Bank, who are all SMEs from Hampshire, are being supported during the Covid-19 Pandemic to ensure they can continue to run their businesses successfully, as Mr Grund reports. Even before the government announced its measures to support small businesses, borrowers were contacted and offered payment holidays.

The Hampshire Community Bank will support the local economy and focus on the financing and recovery of local companies and job creation in Hampshire”, said Mr Grund.

The effects of the lockdown and the consequent economic contraction reinforce the relevance and vital importance of timely, direct, and personally focused bank support for SMEs, as the Community Bank is designed to deliver.

A programme to step up local lending significantly in Hampshire has been presented to stakeholders, and the Community Bank expects to increase staff and lending capacity in the coming months.