WQ84118 (e) Tabled on 17/12/2021

What steps will the Welsh Government take to ensure that a community bank for Wales does not disrupt competition in the financial services sector in Wales?

Answered by Minister for Economy | Answered on 23/12/2021

A statement was made to the Senedd on 14 December detailing what the Welsh Government is doing to support the creation of a Community Bank for Wales.

As was stated, our vision for the Community Bank for Wales is one that is based on the mutual model, owned by and run for the benefit of its members, rather than the maximisation of profit for shareholders.

Our aspiration is that the Community Bank helps address market failure in relation to the gap in provision, effectiveness and access to quality banking services in Wales.

Currently, the sector lacks diversity and is removing services and facilities from towns and communities across Wales. Supporting the introduction of a new Community Bank for Wales is intended to help stimulate innovation in the market and address the needs and concerns of communities in Wales.

The issue of competition regulation is not a matter for the Welsh Government. That responsibility lies with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Proposals for the new Community Bank will need to be developed in compliance with FCA requirements. Regulatory aspects of the Community Bank are a matter for the Monmouthshire Building Society and its Regulator. 

It was announced that the Monmouthshire Building Society intends to take forward its approach to delivering a Community Bank in Wales and that, going forward, it is now appropriate for the Monmouthshire Building Society to lead on the communications and update on the project as it progresses.