Green MEP and German banker to make the case for a ‘People’s Bank’ for the South West

Molly will be joined by leading German banker, Thorsten Guthke, to argue that a locally-owned mutual bank for the South West is urgently needed. Speaking at a public meeting next Thursday 26th July in Devonport [1], they will both spell out the benefits of regional mutual banks for local people and the regional economy.

Molly, an economist and the South West’s Green MEP, said:

“Few people will realise that Plymouth has an award-winning regional mutual bank with over £300m of assets and 9 branches dedicated to serving local businesses and residents. Probably because I am referring to the US town of Plymouth in Massachusetts, USA.

“The UK is very unusual in having no regional mutual banks, unlike our American cousins and comparable regions from Canada to Germany to Japan. The chaos caused by the banking crisis of 2008 highlighted the need for an alternative banking model, one based on mutual trust, owned by its members and customers and run for their benefit. That is why I am delighted to be hosting this important public meeting which will demonstrate why such a bank is so vital for the prosperity of Plymouth and the South West region.”

Thorsten Guthke works for VOB, the German Association of Public Banks, representing over half the banking sector in Germany. He said:

“I am greatly looking forward to visiting Plymouth and sharing my experiences about the many economic and social benefits of locally-owned mutual banks.”

Dr Scott Cato and Mr Guthke will be joined by Tony Greenham, the founding director for the planned new public bank which will be known as the “South West Mutual”. Mr Greenham is the outgoing Director of Economy at the Royal Society of Arts, and a former banker with over 25 years of commercial and management experience. He said:

“I will be explaining the next steps in setting up this new bank, the SW Mutual – owned by local people like myself”.

Molly Scott Cato, Thorsten Guthke and Tony Greenham are also planning to meet with Plymouth City Council Leader Tudor Evans to discuss the mutual bank and will speak at a “Business Breakfast” for local business leaders organised by the Devon Chamber of Commerce.


[1] See Eventbrite page to register. This event will take place at Devonport Guildhall on Thursday July 26th from 7pm. The event is a public event and is free. All welcome.