A COMMUNITY bank launched for people in South Bucks has welcomed its newest member, with MP Dominic Grieve signing up for a savings account.

The not-for-profit South Buckinghamshire Community Bank aims to encourage people to get in the habit of saving for a rainy day.

And now Beaconsfield MP Mr Grieve has become the latest saver to take advantage of the resource, that can also give loans of up to £17,500.

He said: “I am proud to become a member of the Community Bank, and applaud the values for which it stands. It's a bank run by its own members on a not-for-profit basis and offers a great way to save for all sorts of occasions, such as holidays, Christmas and birthdays.

“We see much hardship when people who have got into financial difficulties make ill-advised and hasty decisions, and borrow money they cannot afford to pay back. This offers them an ethical and helpful alternative."

Mr Grieve can save on an ad hoc or regular basis, and after three months will be eligible to take out a loan of up to £17,500 for up to five years.

The amount loaned is dependent on individual income.

The Community Bank is supported by South Bucks District Council and operates in Chiltern and Wycombe districts, backed by their respective district councils and Bucks County Council.

It is joined with M for Money, an existing credit union with links to councils and which is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Operating as a not-for-profit organisation, it practises ethical banking with volunteers manning the face-to-face contact points.

Interest rates are kept as low as possible, providing a better alternative to payday loan organisations, which demand high interest charges.

People with a poor credit rating, or anyone experiencing difficulty managing their finances, can seek guidance in getting back on track through the community bank.

Face-to-face contact points can be found at:

Wednesdays - 10am -12noon at Farnham Common Library

Saturdays - 2 - 4pm at Burnham Library

Mondays - 1.30 - 4pm at Chiltern District Council Offices, Amersham

Saturdays 10am - 12noon at Chesham Library

Fridays - 10am-12noon at High Wycombe Library