Andrew Jackson, Deputy Head of Features
The global financial system is in crisis, bankers are in disrepute and Britain is on the brink of a double-dip recession. Now one man, fed up with never-ending tales of greed and corruption, sets out to prove that there is a different way of doing things - by opening his own bank to help inject much-needed life into local businesses.
Bank of Dave (working title), made by Glasgow-based Finestripe Productions, will chart the progress of entrepreneur David Fishwick as he tries to create a bank from scratch and get it into profit in only 180 days - a gargantuan task as David is an experienced businessman, but admits to knowing very little about the banking system.
Brought up in a "two-up, two-down" terrace house in Lancashire in the 1970's, David Fishwick left school with almost no qualifications - but with bags of grit, common sense and a determination that enabled him to create the biggest minibus supply business in Britain, making him a multi-millionaire.
David first took an interest in banking in the wake of the economic crisis in 2008/09 when he realised that high street banks were no longer giving loans to his customers. So he decided to lend the money himself. Now he wants to take things even further and start his own small bank, convinced that he can do a better job that the high street banks.
David plans to allocate loans to struggling local businesses who are finding it hard to grow in the current economic climate. Much like an old-fashioned bank manager, he will offer not only money but hands-on advice, and - if necessary - even lend a hand.
Bank of Dave is an observational series that will chart David's progress from the initial aspiration to making it all happen against the backdrop of red tape and a stringent regulatory framework. Can one man really take on the banking giants and make a real difference to local businesses?
The 2x60 series has been commissioned by Andrew Jackson and will air in 2012. It is executive produced by Katie Lander and directed and series produced by Ian Lilley.
David Fishwick said: "There are businesses and individuals out there who are hardworking and honest but through no fault of their own, they can no longer get loans. They are being ignored and let down by the banks, while bankers still pay themselves enormous salaries and bonuses. My bank may be tiny but it will be better than a High Street bank. I want to show how banking can be socially responsible and not greedy and reckless and I'm going to do what the High Street banks just can't bring themselves to do - give away any profits to charity."
"I may not know much about banking, but I can't do much worse than they have! I know it won't be easy, but by hook or by crook I'll get this bank open with sheer Northern Grit and determination."
Channel 4's Deputy Head of Features, Andrew Jackson, said: "This is easily one of my favourite commissions. Not only does it feel like one of the most timely shows ever, Dave is a larger-than-life character who will be a really fun watch. I also want Dave to teach me about the world of banks, bankers and finance and in plain English show how we got into this mess but also, I hope, how we get out of it."
Series Producer Ian Lilley said: "Dave wants to create a simple ‘back to basics' bank that benefits its customers more than its shareholders and he's determined to find a way through the incredibly tight regulations. Anyone else attempting this would have already given up, but as filming progresses I realise we're just at the start of a crazy journey and I'm beginning to think that Dave - in his own irreverent and funny way - just might succeed."