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Wessex Community Bank

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Wessex Community Bank
Credit union
IndustryFinancial services
Founded 📆February 1, 2001; 23 years ago (2001-02-01)
Founder 👔
Headquarters 🏙️, ,
Area served 🗺️
Key people
Gary Moran, CEO
Products 📟 Savings accounts; Loans; Current Account; ISA; online banking
Number of employees
🌐 Website
📇 Address
📞 telephone

Wessex Community Bank is a United Kingdom Credit Union. It is headquartered in Portsmouth and is the largest community bank in Hampshire and Isle of Wight. It is authorised by the Bank of England and dual regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. It is a member of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).


Like many other UK Credit Unions, it has a "common-bond", exclusively serving a sector of society or specific geographical region. It is the only not-for-profit community bank exclusively serving the 1.3 million people who live, work or study in Hampshire and Isle of Wight.

As a not-for-profit organisation, it distributes all its profits (known as a surplus) in to the local economy via loans, Member dividends, Member services and community grants. It is classed as an ethical bank due to its positive social-impact policy, which includes, having no shareholders or investors. Instead, it operates as a co-operative one member-one vote institution, treating all Members equally.


Wessex Community Bank was established in 2001 as Portsmouth Savers. In 2006, after expansion across several district borders, Portsmouth Savers rebranded as United Savings & Loans opening offices in Southampton, Basingstoke, Winchester, Bracknell and Bordon.

In 2009, the bank acquired Havant Savers Credit Union. In 2012, the Isle of Wight Credit Union was also acquired. The new group rebranded as Hampshire Credit Union in 2013.

In 2018, Hampshire Credit Union rebranded as Wessex Community Bank. By 2019, the bank had redistributed over £47M in to the Hampshire & IOW economy through affordable lending. The bank suggests that 87% of all loans were used for purchases within the region which helped strengthen its "keeping local money local" ethos.

The bank has several notable Members including Damian Hinds MP who regularly supports the work of the Credit Union Movement including a recent debate on poverty in 2017.[1]


It was a key partner in the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Growth Fund,[2] which was a UK Government backed programme aimed to improve access to affordable credit by increasing lending by third sector organisations.

The bank also took part in the UK Governments "Credit Union Expansion Project" (CUEP) in 2013.[3] The project was designed to inject £38 Million into the development of a modern banking platform for Credit Unions across the UK. The bank withdrew from the scheme in 2017 when the project failed to deliver on its key objectives.[4]

Cashback loan[edit]

In 2018, the bank introduced the cashback loan. This was an initiative with several local government authorities and charities to encourage savings at a time when savings in the UK was at an all-time low.[5][6] Portsmouth, in particular, suffers with one of the UK's lowest ratios of savings per adult.[7] The scheme is a personal loan with mandatory savings. When the personal loan term ends, the Member will have repaid the loan debt and accumulated a tax free lump sum. All of the bank's lending is now classed as cashback loans. The scheme is based on the banks ethical ethos of thrift, and encouraging people to save while having a need to borrow.


  1. Hinds, Damian (1 March 2017). "Damian Hinds MP supports Credit Union helping combat payday lenders". ABCUL. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  2. Collard, Sharon (1 December 2010). "Evaluation of the DWP Growth Fund" (PDF). University of Bristol. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  3. "DWP Expansion Project Award". Department for Work and Pensions, HM Treasury, and The Rt Hon Lord Freud. 16 April 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  4. Jones, Paul (2 August 2016). "An independent research study into the credit union experience of the Credit Union Expansion Project" (PDF). Liverpool John Moores University. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  5. Milligan, Brian (26 September 2016). "Millions have less than £100 in savings, study finds". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  6. Barton, Charlie (16 July 2019). "Are Britons saving for a rainy day?". Finder. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
  7. Schofield, Claire (18 September 2018). "Portsmouth named as worst city for savings". Portsmouth News. Retrieved 11 September 2019.

External links[edit]

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