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International news: Publicly-owned People’s Bank gets underway in the northeast of England

Photo courtesy Let’s Change the Rules.

The public banking movement in the UK is making headway. Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of the North of Tyne, and the North of Tyne Combined Authority approved a due diligence study in August 2019 for the People’s Bank, a regional bank in the northeast of England. The Bank will be ​”mutually-owned,” meaning that it will be owned by its customers: individuals and small and medium businesses based in the region. Read the excellent, step-by-step explainer here.

The bank will have an explicit charter to do business only with people and organizations in the northeast. Profits will be reinvested back into the region. The plan is for the Bank to offer current accounts, mortgage lending and business banking, with physical branches and 24-hour automated services. The Bank also plans to be an employer which pays the Real Living Wage, with the highest-paid worker paid no more than 10 times the amount of the lowest-paid worker, and no gender pay gap.

If the feasibility study goes well, then the next step is to apply for a banking license. There are already plans in place for regional banks in other areas of the UK: Wales, the northwest, the southwest and Greater London.

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