A NEW billion-pound business bank could have its roots in a financial revolution being spearheaded by an East Lancashire crusader.
The Bank of Vince – after Business Secretary Cable – has strong echoes of the pioneering Bank of Dave – championed by Colne-based transport king Dave Fishwick.
And the East Lancashire entrepreneur has given his backing to the Liberal Democrat’s cash injection for small and medium-sized firms.
Mr Cable is confident the business bank, which could stimulate onward investment of £10billion, will provide vital assistance for struggling companies.
Earlier this year he met Mr Fishwick on his battle bus as he toured the UK, promoting his Bank of Dave concept, which would see a network of community banks established, overseen by local financial experts.
The meeting was filmed as part of Channel 4’s Bank of Dave TV series.
Pledging to help Mr Fishwick negotiate the minefield of Financial Services Authority red tape, Mr Cable told him: “It is absolutely vital that we have people like you so we can have some proper competition in the banking sector. This is a community business, so if we can help in any way, then we will.”
And during a visit to East Lancashire last month, Mr Cable said he was ‘impressed’ with the Bank of Dave.
He said: “I met Dave in Scarborough at the Federation of Small Businesses and I appeared on his film on Channel 4. It seems an impressive story.
“He’s filling a niche in the market because the banks are not doing small business loans.”
Mr Fishwick said: “I like Vince Cable. He’s a genuine guy and I think he’s doing a lot of positive things in tough economic times. Anything that helps small and medium businesses in Lancashire has got to be welcomed. He was very interested in what we were doing and has mentioned us a few times in various speeches he has given since. I’m glad he’s doing this because I can’t do it all by myself!”
Unlike Dave’s model, the business bank would be centrally based and aims to bridge the gap for entrepreneurs frustrated at the lending policies of the main high street banks.
Dave’s bank, based in Keirby Walk, Burnley, not only offers business loans, but also claims to offer ‘a decent return’ for small savers.