Our story – ending financial exclusion
Since we opened our doors in September 2020, Guernsey Community Savings has provided life-changing support to more than 100 islanders who had previously been financially excluded from society because they didn’t have a bank account.
Our charity was set up in response to a growing problem of financial exclusion in the Bailiwick.
What do we mean by financial exclusion?
More and more local people are experiencing difficulties opening a bank account or finding that the bank has closed their account because of debt problems, a poor credit history or simply due to a pattern of transactions not acceptable to the bank’s algorithms.
Without a bank account, it’s very hard to find accommodation or be employed. Without a debit card, it’s very difficult to purchase goods and services locally as retailers move away from cash, and it’s impossible to buy anything online.
Often you end up paying more for services such as utilities because you can’t pay by direct debit.
The people we support have often spent years being knocked back, turned away and let down by the system. It has been incredibly rewarding for all of us at GCS to be able to arrange banking services for them, to help them to manage their money and to build their confidence so they can play a full part in society.
But we know there are many more people we could help
If you or someone you know could benefit from our service, please get in touch. How we can help.
Peter Neville, Founder and Chair of GCS
What our supporters said when Guernsey Community Savings was set up
“We are delighted to see this venture designed to help some of the less fortunate in our community start and hope it fulfils an important role in meeting unmet needs.”
William Mason, Director General of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission
“Without proof of address or an official photo, it is impossible, to open a bank account, making it harder to get a job, which in turn makes it difficult to find a permanent address – a vicious circle! By giving access to an account, GCS is key to our clients beginning a new life after prison.”
Guernsey Caring for Ex-Offenders Co-ordinator Mary Herve
“Do not underestimate the significance of what Peter and his team have achieved in unlocking a secure banking facility for prisoners. It will remove one of the main anxieties as prisoners work through their lead up to release seeking employment and securing accommodation and adding to the common objective of reducing reoffending.”
Andrew Ozanne, who was awarded an OBE for his charity work in justice and healthcare
“I am absolutely delighted to see this service being delivered in Guernsey. It is vital for an individual to be able to access the banking system in order to do so many things that most people just take for granted. I think this has been a difficult restriction for so many ex-offenders that not only hinders them but their families and the wider economy. I know this has been a fantastic effort for all involved and I am very proud the prison has and will be able to assist going forward”.
John De Carteret, Prison Governor
Our vision, purpose and values
No-one in the Bailiwick of Guernsey will be financially excluded from being part of and contributing to their community.
To significantly reduce financial exclusion in Guernsey by arranging basic banking services for islanders who are unable to open an account and by offering financial management education to those who need it.
Open and honest
Treating clients as we would wish to be treated ourselves.
Meet the team
An Oxford lawyer, chartered accountant, banker and regulator, Peter was director general of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission from 2001 until retirement in 2009. Peter is also chair of Parkinson’s Guernsey.
After a long career in financial services, Mark now acts as a non-executive director and consultant to various local companies
Susan acts as a non-executive director and provider of company secretarial services to various businesses. Susan is also a director of Help a Guernsey Child LBG.