Great Britain’s Banking Hero? Bank Of Dave, Episode 1

Warning: Contains serious spoilers.

Meet Dave Fishwick. He’s balding, he’s from Burnley, and he doesn’t give a shit. Only he doesn’t give a shit in the best possible way: see, Dave’s idea of being wealthy isn’t really the same as most people’s, especially the bankers. Instead of holidaying non-stop, paying himself ridiculous bonuses and alternating drives in various expensive sports cars, Dave’s dream, at the beginning of this completely inspirational Channel 4 programme, is to open a tiny bank that’s run by the people for the people, and give any profits to charity. In other words, he’s the kindest banker you could ever hope to meet (and a hell of a lot kinder than the git at Barclays who refused to lend me £10 when I was 16 — despite my glowing record — but that’s another story. I hope that git is reading this).

Only there’s a problem and it’s serious: despite being one of the most inspiring people to ever come out of Burnley — a list which doesn’t offer too much in the way of competition, it has to be said… — Dave is every financial experts worst nightmare come true. Not only is he belligerent as hell and immune to virtually all obstacles, but he doesn’t believe in the word No and hates the big banks as each of us do, if not more. 20 minutes into the show, here was a man who made the legend of Robin Hood look lazy. I wondered if every single person watching the show was, like me, wondering how they could join the Bank Of Dave and get the hell away from their current bank as soon as possible…

I have to admit it, though: when I saw the trailers for Bank Of Dave, I was cynical for all the obvious reasons that anyone reasonably would be. Firstly, I struggled with the idea of why a seemingly average wealthy businessman from the grim North would want to open a bank, and secondly, anything with a TV show attached to it makes me instantly suspicious and liable to disbelieve it. But it didn’t last long. As the days passed, I found myself considering the idea more and more, doing some research, and by the time today came around — Thursday July 12th, 2012 — I was more or less convinced: Bank Of Dave wasn’t going to be some shoddily put together documentary piece. It was going to be just what we all needed. A bit of hope. Something good for once that promised and actually delivered.

And nobody can reasonably accuse Bank Of Dave, episode 1, of not delivering something. We’re talking about a guy who had every single obstacle thrown in his face over many months, condensed into an hour-long viewing period. An ordinary bloke that was standing up to the financial forces and saying fuck you. Quite literally, as it happened. Like I said, Dave really doesn’t give a shit and his thoroughly northern use of expletives is about as creative as it gets. And why would he care and listen, actually? The man has clearly done well for himself. OK, so he knows as much about opening and running bank as that bloody Songpop thing on Facebook — I still have no idea what the hell that is — but so what? It’s not like he isn’t in good company, and like Dave said, “I can hardly do worse than they [the banks] have.”

Dave’s first main struggle was to find out how to actually open a bank. Easy, thought Dave, I’ll just Google it. Unsurprisingly, this spewed immediate problems. The first of which was a recurrent theme throughout the episode: he could open a money lending outfit, but he couldn’t open a bank — so said various experts. Like Dave was going to listen!

Not to be out-done,  and still impervious to criticism, Dave predictably went on the rampage. Remember: here is a man with an almost disturbing level of enthusiasm. Dave’s just not gonna take it, he’s gonna keep on going — never surrender!

For a while, it was looking really good. Mainly because Dave wasn’t looking at the negatives, and in part due to him opening the bank regardless of any kind of official papers which he was supposed to possess. And this was the part that really made me smile. Dave wasn’t waiting for anyone, and the entrepreneur in him didn’t give a monkey’s about upsetting people or causing a fuss. Instead of just sitting at home waiting, or giving in to what the experts wanted him to do — not open a bank and instead open a building society, but preferably just go home and never leave the house again — Dave was just doing it. Exactly the kind of thing we need to see on TV, to remind us that sometimes, it’s about what you do, not just what you say.

It was then, shortly after acquiring the world’s smallest banking safe — probably from Amazon — that things really got interesting. Following a miniature radio campaign and opening, Bank On Dave! was finally unleashed on the public. No more pissing about with endless nonsensical forms and all that crap, Dave — along with a young Burnley banking geek who hadn’t yet been corrupted by the system — was ready to lend and lend he would.

By this point, I was totally enthralled. Dave’s ideas and philosophy on life were seriously addictive, and even though half the stuff he said sounded outlandish, you couldn’t help but believe that it was going to happen anyway. And who had a right to say it wouldn’t? The man had made a huge success of his own company, so why not this?

What followed from there on was some of the most bizarre, banking-related TV anyone is likely to ever see. Things like Dave visiting Steve Punchard’s Tropical Fish Superstore — pride of Burnley’s fish passion, and no, I didn’t make that name up — to discuss with Steve Punchard himself how much a shark costs. “Probably about £500,” said Steve Punchard with a completely straight face, who’s name I just love writing. Dave might well come to be known as the man who single-handedly caused numbers of black-tip reef shark to rise in the UK, but he’s also an ingenious amateur banker who will happily lend you £8,000 plus on trust and instinct — the two main things which the banks despise. The man really is a one-and-only…

Then, just when you thought it was a done deal, came the big punch in the face: the FSA — the people who had been put in place with the precise job of keeping financial vigilantes like Dave eternally out of their business — got in touch and said he’d need to raise £10 million Euros in order to keep trading…

Was Dave phased? Of course he was, but like I said before, he doesn’t give a shit! Look out for more from the man same time, next week.

I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. Thank fuck for Dave Fishwick.

Update: new post now up about the phenomenon of Bank Of Dave, which concludes tonight, Thursday the 19th at 9pm on Channel 4.

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11 comments on “Great Britain’s Banking Hero? Bank Of Dave, Episode 1

  1. stephen james says:

    Dave all the best m8, And I agree the powers that be dont want you to succeed! Because if you do then you will have got inside the closed shop of Banking secret club and they dont want you to! We need more like you and great idea go and visit your customers not just tick F*****G boxes on a Credit Application and refuse a loan because your credit history aint rosy, Wish you were nearer m8, Banks have shafted me over the years!! Go for it m8!!!

    Like

    • chrispink says:

      Hey Stephen, thanks for the comment and glad you thought Dave was really fucking cool too! Great to see a true northerner on TV, talking with that northern passion and pride that you just don’t get so much down south (no offense to southerners…I’m one, but if you know any northerners then you’ll know what I mean).

      We definitely need MORE like Dave. Brilliant that he actually bothers to visit his customers. And yeah, we NEED a BOD near us too. It’s got in me system this has, and it ain’t getting out anytime soon!

      All the best,
      Chris

      Like

  2. miksmith says:

    Nice post bud!
    And if you ever need to borrow a tenner, just give me a shout:)
    Don’t you worry yourself about that git at Barclays!
    M:)

    Like

    • chrispink says:

      Thanks Mik!
      I seriously WILL hold you to that in the future. Maybe you shouldn’t have put it in writing? Ha!
      I’ve stopped worrying about the git. He probably got his pay-back anyhow. Oh, how sorry I feel…
      Chris! Hope you’re welk my friend, Sue too.

      Like

  3. wilcock says:

    Born and bred in Burnley, I have seen, over the years, the town fall to ruin with pound shops, budget chains and come and go businesses letting the area down. Dave is a breath of fresh air…his comments and opinions form 90% of the Burnley folks views. Why let fat cat bankers get fatter with their huge bonuses and corrupt ways…off our savings! They seem to forget that the money they have in their vaults is ours anyway! Perhaps we should do a mass cash withdrawl and leave them desperate to get the public vote and money back! David Fishwick for Prime Minister!!!

    Like

    • chrispink says:

      Dear Shelley,

      Thanks for dropping by my blog, reading and leaving this comment. It made me smile! A great comment it is, and yes, I’ve heard the same from some other people since I wrote the article. You make some very good points. And I totally agree, Fishwick for Prime Minister…it needs to happen and by the sounds of all the support he’s been getting, it genuinely could! (Well…perhaps, but I do like to think so.)

      Best wishes,

      Chris

      Like

  4. paul callaghan says:

    Hey mister dave, keep going son. !!!! I tell you what the government wants jobs for people, investment,iniative and win win situation. Go and knock on number 11 downing street, their policy and your getting screwed, bollocks to that . Good luck . shagging hipocrites

    Like

    • chrispink says:

      Yes Paul, yes! The banks are a bloody nightmare. If Dave can get things moving in the right direction, we’ll all be in his debt.

      Thanks Paul. I’m not Dave — I’m Chris — but if you have the inclination, why nopt contact Dave directly? His email address shouldn’t be too hard to come by, I should think.

      The words are appreciated, good luck in the armed forces. Chris

      Like

  5. paul callaghan says:

    also i am a member of the armed forces and all the soldiers i work with are right behind you !!!!
    Get the soldiers involved cos sometimes we need a helping hand at times but our salaries are at least committed , get back to me .

    Like

  6. paul callaghan says:

    just seen the end of the program, WELL DONE !!!!!!!!!

    Like

  7. […] mention Russell Hamblin-Boone – you have to admire what Dave Fishwick is doing. It all began with Bank of Dave, of course, which appeared on our mass-drone-control-screens a couple of years ago. In that unique […]

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