BUSINESS is booming for Burnley’s revolutionary “Bank of Dave” after it emerged there was a two-year waiting list for savers.
Customers have been queuing up to pump money into Burnley Savings and Loans which was dreamed up as a not-for-profit venture by local entrepreneur David Fishwick last year.
The self-made millionaire says the popularity of his “community bank” idea has skyrocketed on the back of hit Channel 4 show “Bank of Dave”.
The 41-year-old, who owns David Fishwick Minibus Sales, has seen £25,000 a week flooding into his Keirby Walk “bank” which is loaned straight out to boost local businesses.
The success of the idea has been so great that dozens of new savers must now wait until March 2014 to lend money through “Bank on Dave”.
Mr Fishwick, who has become a hero figure for taking on the goliaths of British banking, says the success of the venture has been astounding in the first year of business.
“We have done hundreds and hundreds of loans, we have helped hundreds of businesses open and we have got customers everywhere. It is brilliant.
“There is a two-year waiting list. We lend out £25,000 a week and take in £25,000 a week. That’s £100,000 a month, £1.2m. a year and £3.6m. over three years.
“It works. We make a profit every single month. The profits we make we pay our tiny overheads. We never take a single pound out of it.”
The “Bank of Dave” idea had high profile support from Business Secretary Vince Cable and former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell and TV personality Graham Norton.
Mr Fishwick, who appeared on The One Show on the BBC last week, said: “I was on the sofa with Graham Norton and he said ‘can I put money in your bank?’
“We have got a two-year waiting list. I said Graham Norton will have to wait. We’re here for Burnley and we cannot put your name before anyone else in Burnley.”
Mr Fishwick, who is now filming for a new series of his show, said the idea behind “Bank of Dave” was simple. He set out to provide loans to people who had been denied by high street banks while offering savers a competitive 5% rate of interest.
Any profits are donated to local charities once running costs are paid.
The concept has struck a chord with millions of TV viewers in Britain and Mr Fishwick believes the new Burnley community banking model can be replicated in towns and cities across the country.
“We have seen ‘To Let’ signs everywhere. But now we are filling shops, helping new businesses and we are helping a lot of people get a decent rate of savings.
“If we can get one thing out of this it is to inspire more people across the country to take it on board and do the same in their town.
“There are thousands of towns and villages up and down the country – you could have a Bank of Dave, a Bank of Phil or a Bank of Simon in every one.
“If you have 1,000 towns and start lending out to 1,000 businesses in each one suddenly you have rescued a million businesses.
“If we can just stand together arm in arm we can take on the world.”
He added: “Once we have proved it works they will have to listen to us. I am Dave from Burnley and I sell buses - if I can do it then anyone can.”