About us

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.

“My vision for Guernsey Community Savings was to eliminate financial exclusion as far as possible in Guernsey. This has involved two streams of work. Firstly, our friendly and expert staff help our clients access an account provided by VFX Financial, a money transmission business. We introduce clients to VFX while helping them to meet identification requirements. GCS is not a regulated financial services business, and this means we can reduce financial exclusion while avoiding the cost and complexity that applies to banks and other regulated firms. Secondly, and of growing importance, is the provision of money management advice. The ability to manage money is essential both for the individual and for the economy in general. GCS is spending more and more time providing this service, not only directly to our clients, but also to third parties.”
 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

From our Patron the Bailiff Sir Richard McMahon:
 “By arranging basic banking services for Guernsey residents who have been unable to obtain accounts, Guernsey Community Savings enables them to take their place in and contribute to their community. The charity is providing a vital service – it is an essential piece of what can be a complicated social jigsaw puzzle. It is clear people are confident in the wonderfully simple process and appreciate the personal approach and dedicated support of the team.”

Our vision, purpose and values

Our vision

No-one in the Bailiwick of Guernsey will be financially excluded from being part of and contributing to their community.

Our purpose
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.

Our values
Not judgmental
Open and honest
Treating clients as we would wish to be treated ourselves.

Meet the team 

Our Board 

Peter Neville
Founder and Chair
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.
Mark Bright
After a long career in financial services, Mark now acts as a non-executive director and consultant to various local companies
Nick England
Nick started his career as a derivatives trader in London. He has worked in financial markets for over 30 years and is a payment and foreign exchange specialist.
Brian Horsepool
An experienced financial services professional with 45 years of experience, Brian focus on regulation, governance and financial crime.
Company Secretary

Stephen Ozanne
Stephen has been chief executive officer for Liberum Wealth since 2020. Before that he was senior counsel at Walkers where he established and led Walkers’ Channel Islands Regulatory & Risk advisory group.
Linda Rolf
Linda, who has more than 30 years’ experience in PR and communication, joined the Board in June 2021 and leads on PR for the charity. She is director of communications consultancy, Linda Rolf Associates.
Liz Pirouet Douglas
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