Have you watched Bank of Dave yet? If not, get thee to 4od and set aside some time.
Car singing, Ferrari driving, Burnley loving Dave, is a man it is nigh on impossible to dislike. That is, unless you are one of the ‘big banks’.
Dave from Burnley works hard and has already made himself some money, this is evident throughout the program as we watch him race around in his red Ferrari and polish his helicopter. Far from being affected, Dave appears to know everyone in his home town. The big bucks Dave has made, have come through his mini bus business, the largest in the country no less.
When the big banks stopped lending, it was bad for the mini bus business and Dave knew he had to do something. His customers could no longer access the required funding to purchase their mini busses, so he lent them the money. As a face-to-face business man, Dave insists on personally meeting each potential borrower over a nice cup of tea to assess whether he can trust them. He does appear to trust practically everyone, which is a slight concern. However, through this experience came light bulb moment.
Why don’t banks work this way?
“The b*stard banks… £50 billion, how can you lose £50 billion and still pay bonuses?” It’s a fair point. Dave’s idea is to create a tiny bank in his beloved Burnley. One that pays out 5% on savings (the very best rate in the country) and lends to those who need it. Getting money back into the community and regenerating local business.
This is where we pricked our ears up. We know only too well how hard it can be as a small business. Cash flow can be a serious problem for any business and if the banks won’t lend, great businesses that just need a bit of help will die. We think that’s a major problem.
Dave has certainly not found the process of setting up his bank easy. He is up against some major financial giants, guffawing from their gleaming top floor offices as they watch him struggle to play by their ancient, biased and overblown rulebook. But, as I’m sure you will see from his documentary, he has done it. In a way.
What he has also succeeded in doing is creating some serious hype. This is a project that people believe in, that people empathise with and want to be a part of. The Bank of Dave Facebook page has already reached well over 2000 likes and the Twitter buzz grows louder each day. Today a viral ‘Bank of Dave’ game was launched. It’s small steps, but ones with real purpose.
Last weeks episode showed that Dave has achieved his goals so far, and his tiny bank has made a profit, which is more than any of the banking giants have succeeded in doing in a long time. One things for sure, Dave is making waves. I think the financial giants may just have stopped laughing.
Watch the previous episodes on 4od, the next episode will be shown tonight at 8pm on 4Seven. You can read more in an interview with the man himself, here.