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City's finance boss says council could set up its own local bank
5:04pm Thursday 21st March 2013 in Winchester
WINCHESTER City Council could set up a local bank in the future, according to its finance boss.
Cllr Stephen Godfrey did not rule out setting up such a bank at a council meeting last Wednesday (march 20).
It came after Cllr Steve Miller asked Cllr Godfrey whether the city council should consider setting up a local bank after it was a key topic at the second European Conference on Banking (ECOBATE) that took place at Winchester Guildhall earlier this month.
The conference included a speech by Bournemouth Borough Council on its efforts to set up its own bank with partners.
Cllr Stephen Godfrey said Winchester could follow that example if it found the right partners to help.
He said: “I do think as a small authority we would struggle to go it alone. I do not think we have the ability, capital or experience to do that.
“But working with partner authorities, existing businesses and other useful groups would be worth some thought to see if there’s any mileage in it. “It’s an innovative solution and whether we take it forward or we enjoy the benefits of someone else’s work, it could bring benefits to Winchester.”
Business secretary Vince Cable also attended that conference and met with Cllr Godfrey and deputy leader Cllr Robert Humby.
Cllr Humby said: “Dr Cable complimented the council on its approach to economic development, referring to us as an ‘enterprising local authority ‘, which ‘used its own initiative’.
“I am sure you, like me, will see this as further proof that Winchester City Council punches above its weight when it comes to the economy, and is being recognised increasingly as a friend to business in these difficult economic times.”