Wave Community Bank opened today (Tuesday, October 5) with the goal of helping residents ‘build financial resilience within East Sussex by providing fairer and more affordable ways to borrow and an ethical approach to savings’.
A Wave Community Bank spokesperson said, “Everyone who saves with or borrows from the bank is a member who can receive a dividend payment on savings when the bank does well, and investment in the bank helps to support those most in need in the local community.”
Anyone living, working or studying in East Sussex, as well as Brighton and Hove, can become a member of the bank.
All members from the south east region of the Unite Union can also join, according to the bank.
The spokesperson added, “The bank already has over 9,000 members and a tried and trusted history, having operated as part of the UK’s credit union network for the past 21 years.”
Wave Community Bank CEO Ann Hickey said, “Saver loans are unique to community banks like Wave and ensure that when you’ve paid off a loan you have a savings pot to spend or continue to save into.
“Wave savings are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Our loans can be used for anything - emergencies like an unexpected bill or getting your car back on the road, costs for your business or a home improvement.
“We don’t make decisions on how you spend your money, we just make sure you can afford the repayments and the debt won’t leave you in a difficult financial situation.”
The bank said there are currently 13 East Sussex employers signed up to Wave’s workplace scheme, including NHS trusts, local councils, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the University of Brighton, Brighton Housing Trust and Brighton and Hove Buses and Metrobus.
Wave Community Bank said they also provide loans and accounts with no transaction fees for East Sussex businesses and organisations, and work in partnership with charities to provide interest-free loans to vulnerable people.