Shared bank branch firm OneBanx opens crowdfunder to consumer deposits in bid to expand across UK

A firm behind shared bank branches serving local communities, and which has been trialling the concept in central Scotland, has just pushed the button on the public phase of a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise at least £1.25 million.

OneBanx has been running pilot branches in Kilwinning, Denny and Lochgelly, and says it is now embarking on the next phase of plans to create a national network of kiosks that will “ensure no community in the UK is left without access to cash or everyday banking services like deposits and bill payments”.

The business added that it has already opened an Access to Cash Kiosk in partnership with TSB at a shopping centre in Nottingham and will shortly be unveiling two community kiosks with Newcastle Building Society. However, it also said that to “really have any impact, OneBanx wants to mobilise communities up and down the country to demand that the banks who have collectively closed more than 5,000 branches since 2015 now club together to fund a OneBanx kiosk in their area”.

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The firm, which last year said it secured backing from a Japanese tech giant, is tendering for the right to operate ten to 15 locations as part of the UK Finance/Link banking hub initiative supported by ten of the main UK banks, while it has already processed nearly £2m in cash, for more than 1,500 customers in almost 12,900 transactions.

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It said that as part of the crowdfunding exercise, taking place via Crowdcube, it has already raised more than £1m in pre-funding towards its target of £1.25m (which it expects to exceed) with a pre-money valuation of £12.5m, and it is offering shares equivalent to 9.04 per cent of the company at a price of £15.06.

Founder and chief executive Duncan Cockburn said the “need for what OneBanx can offer communities is greater than ever”. He added: “We have had amazing support from our existing shareholders, but as a business rooted in serving communities, we want those communities and partners to have a real stake in our business as we expand and grow. Now that there are ten banks committed to funding shared infrastructure and thousands of kiosks or similar needed across the UK, there is a real opportunity here to make a difference.”

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'With over 5,000 bank branches having closed in the UK since 2015, the need for what OneBanx can offer communities is greater than ever,' says the firm. Picture: contributed.

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