What is a mutual bank?
A mutual bank is an alternative to the high street banks. It is a fully‑fledged bank with all the services you’d expect, but is owned by its customers (also called members) rather than shareholders.
All deposits are reinvested back into the region in which the bank operates. A mutual bank is purpose‑driven not profit‑driven, putting the needs of local people, the local economy and the local environment first.
Why do we need one?
We live in difficult times:
- We are facing an unprecedented ecological crisis.
- Poverty and economic inequality are on the rise.
- The region’s wealth (from our salaries, our businesses, our savings etc.) deposited in banks is for the most part invested outside the region when it is badly needed here.
- Financial exclusion is becoming more prevalent with 10% of people in NI having no bank account and many areas having no access to banking services.
The Northern Mutual bank will ensure that deposits are recycled back into region and used to make lending and investment decisions that are in the best economic, social and environmental interests of the region.
The Northern Mutual
Once established, the Northern Mutual bank will offer all the usual services you get from any bank: current accounts, business accounts, overdrafts, business loans, debit cards, mortgages, electronic payments, and foreign exchange. The Mutual will have a mix of physical and digital channels with a branch network of staffed and automated branches, Internet banking, mobile banking, and an automated safe deposit box service.
Banking for people's needs, not shareholders' interests
The Northern Mutual will serve its members, the local economy and the environment with transparency and accountability.
Safe and secure banking you can have confidence in
The Northern Mutual will remove the stress from opening and managing bank accounts.
Providing quality services for the community
The Northern Mutual will respond to the needs of members and their families honestly, sensitively and professionally.
Only investing locally to increase community wealth
The Northern Mutual will only invest in local people, products and places.
Helping you prepare your finances for the future
The Northern Mutual can be your savings jam jar.
Public support for mutual banking
Building on the model proposed by the CSBA, several mutual bank campaigns are underway in Wales and regions across England (from Avon to the Southwest, and the Northwest). The Northern Mutual campaign is part of this growing mutual banking movement and we have support from a diverse range of people across NI society, including public bodies and councils, community and voluntary sector organisations, and private individuals.
Here’s what some of them have to say: