“Bank of Dave,” a comedy-drama film directed by Chris Foggin, follows local working-class millionaire Dave Fishwick as he sets out to establish a community bank for his people in Burnley. Dave finds himself in the lending business during a national financial crisis, providing loans to nearby families and companies. He consequently began to fantasise about starting his own bank to support the business endeavours of his neighbourhood. But when Dave challenges the Financial Regulation Board in an attempt to obtain the first bank approval in more than a century, his lofty goals wind up facing exponentially greater challenges.
The movie is a classic underdog tale, with Dave playing the protagonist against the Goliaths of London’s banking industry. The narrative keeps its feel-good vibe while portraying Dave and his community’s hardships in a realistic manner and highlighting some important contemporary financial issues. For the same reason, it makes sense that viewers would want to know how much of Dave Fishwick’s persona is derived on actual history. Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Dave Fishwick, a Businessman from Burnley
Yes, there is a genuine person who inspired Dave Fishwick. ‘Bank of Dave’ is a faux biographical story, as acknowledged by the film’s director, Foggin, who called the project a “true-ish story with artistic licence.” In this fictitious story, the movie depicts the true story of English businessman Dave Fishwick, who hails from a little village in Burnley. After dropping out of school at sixteen, he started up in the motor industry as an apprentice builder who exchanged automobiles. But before long, the man gets the bright idea to begin using garage owners’ assistance to flip cars. Because of this, in 1994, while the businessman was in his early 20s, he was able to purchase his own garage.
Fishwick eventually rose to become the nation’s largest minibus provider as his company expanded, making him a self-made multimillionaire. Despite being outstanding, this part of his career ends up serving as the background for Fishwick’s successful and selfless entry into the banking industry in the movie. As portrayed in the movie, a number of Fishwick’s clients who purchased minibuses from him encountered difficulties obtaining financing when banks denied their requests during the English recession of 2008–2009.
The car dealer therefore began lending money to his neighbours in order to address the problem. “After I began lending the money, I felt that I could support other companies and provide loans to individuals in this area. I didn’t think it could be so hard,” Fishwick remarked to the BBC. His goal to start his own bank in the tradition of neighbourhood banking for the good of his community was thus launched. However, the real-life Fishwick’s story differs slightly from his on-screen counterpart when it comes to this ambitious endeavour. The story of “Bank of Dave” centres on Dave and his attorney, Hugh Stockwell, as they prepare to submit their bank application to the FRB.
As a result, the main plot revolves around Dave’s conflict with the bank and their determination to stop him from accomplishing his objective. In actuality, though, Fishwick chose several different paths in his endeavour to establish his bank. The man’s employment in the entertainment business, which is not mentioned in the movie, really emphasises a key facet of his career. Fishwick’s aspirations for banking have shaped his vast television career, which includes shows like “Bank of Dave,” a 2012 observational series in which he tries to open his bank in 180 days by supporting neighbourhood companies, and “Fighting The Fat Cats.”
Thus, there is still a clear difference between Rory Kinnear’s on-screen persona and Dave Fishwick in real life. For example, a large portion of the storyline about Dave’s tense relationship with the FRB and the latter’s subsequent attacks on the ambitious banker is all made up. However, Fishwick, who produced the idea, insists that the Big Banks despise him and his goals.
Thus, even if Dave Fishwick’s role in “Bank of Dave” is modelled after the real Dave Fishwick, there are still certain differences between the real Dave Fishwick and the one he plays on film.
Where Is Dave Fishwick Now?
Even though the movie closes with Dave enjoying enormous success thanks to a Def Leppard benefit concert that raises the millions of money the businessman needs to open his bank, this is a made-up plot that never happened in real life. In actuality, however, Fishwick’s story takes a different turn. Fishwick has been unable to establish his own bank governed by UK regulations, despite his best efforts. Rather, in September 2011, he established Burnley Savings and Loans, a lending company. The company has already lent the community thirty million pounds and works to improve the lives of small enterprises and real people. Moreover, all proceeds from this project are donated to nearby charitable organisations.
His 2012 nonfiction book, “Bank of Dave: How I Took On the Banks,” likewise tackled the same topic. “We assist local savers in obtaining the highest return on their investments,” Fishwick stated, outlining BSAL’s business strategy. “And then we take that money and lend it to people who, for no fault of their own, are unable to obtain a loan from a high street bank because those other banks are no longer eager to lend to actual people.” Fishwick is still trying to obtain his banking licence approved by City officials as of right now.
For the same reason, he continues to support local businesses while spending a significant portion of his time in Parliament advocating for changes inside the banking sector. Speaking about his anit-bonus culture business approach, the billionaire stated, “This is not about adding more zeroes to my net wealth.” You can only take one vacation or drive one automobile at a time, after all. Sometimes all it takes is getting up to change things. Thankfully, Fishwick’s tireless labour has left an impression on the sector, drawing the notice of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who openly commended the guy for his work in Burnley.
Similarly, the businessman’s true impact on the community is evident in a number of ventures, like Sabden Smash, a burger joint owned by teenager Harry Dobson that Fishwick’s company has contributed to funding. Thus, Fishwick pursues his passion for banking while leading a fulfilling personal life with his wife, Nicola, and kids, Connor and Sarah. Even if the businessman only uses his TikTok account to interact with social media, fans may still gain more insight into Fishwick’s life and career by reading the many interviews he participated in to promote “Bank of Dave.”