Local First Community Interest Company is bringing banking back to the service of local communities

Local First Community Interest Company is bringing banking back to the service of local communities by establishing a template for Community Banks.  The UK’s economic recovery after Covid-19 will require innovation and creativity, particularly in finance. Sometimes the old, proven ideas are best. Community banking has been successful for centuries.

Community Banks provide the financial support needed by the successful entrepreneurs who create and develop small and medium-sized companies. These are the lifeblood of our local economies. Their hard work and ingenuity transforms loans from banks into sustainable growth, prosperity and jobs.

Big banks are often better matched to big companies. A virtuous cycle of growth is formed when a local, business-orientated bank provides services which are based on relationships, focused on the customer, and make use of local knowledge. Economies enriched by Community Banks are more stable, and less prone to boom and bust cycles and banking crises.

Local First Community Interest Company’s first venture is the Hampshire Community Bank, based in Winchester.  We are talking to other regions, and we’d like to talk to you.  Our details are under the “Contact” button above.

About us

Read about the origins of Local First, and the key features of Community Banks

The Hampshire Community Bank

This link takes you to the website of the Hampshire Community Bank, which tells you about its progress

More about community banking

Read more about the nature of Community Banks and the context in which they work


Community banks are a relatively new concept in the UK.  What are their origins?

Our Philosophy

Banking should be about relationships and trust. The customer knows the bank, and the bank knows the customer. If people and the sustainability of their businesses are put first, profits look after themselves and targets become artificial. Friendly and personal face-to-face customer service and genuine advice in the interests of the customer should be the staff’s main concern. Traditional banking at its best.

Focus on small to medium-sized businesses

Finance is not a sector of the economy, it is the basis of it.  Any country’s economy will ultimately be shaped by its financial system and the structure of its banks.  In the UK, the larger banks are often more averse to the risks of lending to small-scale businesses, because their data lack local knowledge.  That is why the system also needs small, locally headquartered banks with their roots in the local business community and their objective a thriving and sustainable local economy.