I’m excited to be able to update you with some positive news on our progress to launching Avon Mutual, the community bank for our region.
As you may have seen in this July update we have been making great progress towards launching and hope to be up and running soon and working towards a year ten target of lending £0.5bn to our local economy.
In the last few weeks we have passed two significant and important milestones which means we are now opening our second investment round.
Firstly, the FCA and PRA have reviewed our regulatory business plan (RBP) and invited us into the second of major three stages on our journey to being granted a banking licence. This marks the culmination of a tremendous amount of preparatory work from the whole team, and the start of the journey to launch.
Our second milestone relates to local and central government engagement and support. We are pleased that RSM Corporate Finance have just completed due diligence for Bristol City Council and a consortium of other regional local authorities in connection with potential major investment in our final £20m investment raising in 2021.
In other government news, the APPG on Fair Business Banking has hosted a Parliamentary event exploring how Central and Local Government can support our community banking movement. The event started with a very supportive opening talk by Salisbury MP John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Cities Minister and with attendees including Jesse Norman MP Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Devizes MP Danny Kruger, Charles Randall, Chair of the FCA, two attendees from the PRA and other key stakeholders. We are delighted that John Glen MP is also chairing another Avon Mutual event on 29th September.
As a result of reaching these major milestones, we are now commencing our second investment round, intended to take us through the remainder of the licensing process and build prior to launch.
It’s a raise of £2.4m, with a first stage target of £500,000, and it offers investors the chance to be part of a ground-breaking new kind of bank to support individual and business communities across our region, as well as the prospect of a dividend and potential future capital gain.
We already have interest from one of our current funders, George Soros’ Open Societies Foundation, for a further investment of up to £1million in shares towards the required £2.4m. We are also in the final stages of a board decision with another major foundation for potential investment in the autumn.
So all in all its been a busy summer for the team and its great to feel our momentum building. Thank you for your ongoing support.
With very best wishes,
Jules Peck, Founder Director