26 September 2023

Bank of Dave

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Chris Foggin, The Reset Collective

One cannot resist the spirit with which a working-class man struggles to set up a community bank to help the town’s local businesses thrive following the financial crisis of 2008.

To do so, he must battle London’s financial institutions and compete for the first banking license in over 100 years. What he was doing was huge, and he was taking it in his stride.

Based on real events, the remarkable story of Burnley resident Dave Fishwick was first shared with the world as a documentary in 2012.

Directed by Chris Foggin (Fisherman’s Friends) and inspired by real events,

Bank of Dave stars Rory Kinnear, Joel Fry, Phoebe Dynevor and Hugh Bonneville.

Fishwick (Kinnear) sells vans in Burnley, Lancashire. Once the world’s most productive and profitable mill town, Burnley now ranks among the most deprived and neglected towns in the North of England. However, Dave, through a combination of hustle and hard work, has done well for himself, So well, in fact, that in the wake of the last financial crisis, he started lending money at reduced rates to both his customers and to local businesses.

When some of those businesses start making money, they ask Dave to reinvest it for them. This gives Dave an idea: to set-up a tiny local bank that uses local money to fund local enterprise. He calls it: The Bank of Dave.

Hugh (Fry) is the struggling London lawyer Dave hires to help turn his dream into a reality, but Hugh is determined to talk Dave out of the whole idea. With the help of radical local councillor and emergency room doctor Alexandra (Dynevor), Dave convinces Hugh of the merits of his idea.

Then again, more opposition comes in the form of London’s elite banking establishment that’s not keen on welcoming a new bank into their midst, and closing ranks, forcing Dave and Hugh to use every resource at their disposal to realise their dream.

  • Bank of Dave is in cinemas on 1 June

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