It’s not surprise that Bank of Dave, a new Netflix original movie based on the touching true account of Burnley businessman Dave Fishwick’s efforts to establish a neighbourhood bank, has been attracting attention. Soon after the movie’s debut, the genuine man himself enthusiastically announced that it had ranked first among the top 10 films on Netflix UK:
— Bank on Dave (@FishwickDavid) January 19, 2023
Indeed, the persona of Burnley businessman Dave Fishwick in the movie is as genuine as they come. Based on his social media posts and recent TV appearances, Rory Kinnear (Our Flag Means Death) has done a great job portraying this happy, larger-than-life individual.
The enormous amount of good he has contributed to his neighbourhood by lending over £30 million to those in need and donating all the proceeds to charity is also undoubtedly genuine. Recently, a school requested a loan from him for an industrial-sized toaster so they could give hungry kids breakfast before school. He responded swiftly by donating both the toaster and a year’s worth of food.
But how much of Bank of Dave is based on actual events, and how much of it was made up for entertainment? The response might surprise you:
Does The Bank of Dave Actually… Exist?
Well, not really, no.
It is true that Dave Fishwick, a Burnley resident who made his fortune selling vans and minibuses, founded Burnley Savings and Loans in 2011 when he realised how difficult it was for locals to obtain loans from High Street banks. The company’s motto is “Bank on Dave!” It’s also true, as the movie depicts, that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) reportedly objected to his request to raise several million pounds in security as part of his application to become a legitimate bank.
However, the money was never obtained, the business isn’t really a bank (technically speaking, it’s a “independent lending company”), and it’s still working to obtain its banking licence under the name The Bank of Dave.
The good news is that all the activities Fishwick targets in Bank of Dave is actually being done, including lending to locals who find it difficult to obtain loans elsewhere, offering competitive interest rates on savings accounts, and contributing revenues to charitable organisations.
Is Dreamy Lawyer Hugh (Joel Fry) Real?
Joel Fry, a castmate from Our Flag Means Death, co-stars with Kinnear in Bank of Dave as hotshot London lawyer Hugh, who unwillingly accepts the position of representing Fishwick as he attempts to establish the Bank of Dave.
After a rocky beginning in Burnley, he comes to love the Fishwick family, the Bank of Dave concept, and the town itself. He even contributes £1 million of his own money to aid the bank in obtaining capital. Additionally, he becomes more and more close to Alexandra (Phoebe Dynevor, Bridgerton), a doctor on the NHS and Fishwick’s niece.
Sadly, he is a wholly fictional creation that was made to introduce viewers to Dave Fishwick and his aspirational Bank of Dave.
However, Joel Fry excels in the role of the romantic lead. Please do this more often.
Did Nefarious Banking Baddies Try To Ruin Dave Fishwick’s Business?
Fortunately for Dave Fishwick, the response to both of these is no.
The dishonest Sir Charles Denbeigh (played by Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey) is a fictional character, and there was no plot to derail the Bank of Dave plans, despite the fact that he did receive a lot of pushback from City finance experts who did indeed dismiss his idea and warn him he’d end up in prison if he called himself a “bank.”
Fishwick has actively lobbied parliament for banking reforms for more than ten years, yet he still has concerns about how the UK financial system functions.
Did Def Leppard Really Play a Heroic Burnley Fundraising Concert for the Bank of Dave?
The renowned real-life band did travel all the way to Burnley from the US to appear in Bank of Dave, but their involvement in Dave Fishwick’s real-life narrative is entirely fictional and was made up because he is such a passionate fan. The day Fishwick met Def Leppard for the movie was “possibly, if not definitely, the happiest day of my life,” according to Fishwick.
The concert never transpired, Def Leppard did not perform, and no money was raised, which contributes to the fact that the Bank of Dave is not yet a legitimate bank.
But it was a wonderful, suspenseful, and heartfelt conclusion to a moving movie. Who knows, maybe the Bank of Dave will eventually come to pass and actuality will imitate art. Observe this space.
You can watch Bank of Dave on Netflix.
Being a binge-watcher himself, finding Content to write about comes naturally to Divesh. From Anime to Trending Netflix Series and Celebrity News, he covers every detail and always find the right sources for his research.