Throughout the world, National Development and Retail Community Banks have proven track records in making a major transformative contribution to their nation’s economic and social development.

The growth in establishing NDBs has been substantial in recent decades.

Unlike private banks that lend during the boom times and radically reduce their lending during economic crises, these banks lend much more in difficult times to save the nation’s economy.

During the financial crises of 2008 and the recent pandemic, National Development Banks stepped in to increase their lending and support.

We witnessed the quick intervention from the Development Bank of Wales during the pandemic, saving thousands of jobs and businesses which private banks refused to support.

The NDBs also are much more in tune with supporting sustainable economic and environmental developments.

For example, KFW, the Development Bank of Germany, was the first bank to support the private sector to develop and manufacture solar panels, well before private banks showed any interest.

They are, unlike private banks, very keen to support start-up innovative businesses and small enterprises.

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The NDBs are supported by the national governments and raise funds from the private market too. They also have experts in house to support and advise the businesses, hence increasing their success rates.

The community banks also play an incredibly important role in supporting the communities in which they are located, lending to both residents and small businesses.

We are very fortunate in Wales that we have both Development and Community banks.

The Development Bank of Wales and Banc Cambria (just launched) are supported by the Welsh Government.

Banc Cambria shareholders will be from the Welsh communities, unlike the big high street banks that have shareholders in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, China, Russia, Singapore, etc.

Community banks have ethical and social policies embedded within their core values.

We should encourage Welsh investors, including the government and local authorities, to invest in our local banks rather than outside Wales.

High Street banks are deserting our towns and communities in order to reduce costs and increase their massive profits for their predominantly overseas shareholders.

Wales has been relying too much upon inward investment from overseas organisations. Too much of the Welsh economy is owned by foreign companies and investors.

We need to support our community-based businesses to succeed and grow. Our indigenous small and mid-sized businesses are creating sustainable jobs within our communities.

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We have a pool of fantastic innovative small businesses that are suffocated by not having access to finance.

Wales must build its own financial infrastructure with less reliance on outside organisations. Welsh Government must build a strong resilient banking infrastructure that supports only Welsh Businesses and Welsh communities.

We need a banking infrastructure that puts the well -being of our Welsh economy, employment and its citizens ahead of profit.

We have an opportunity with the Development Bank of Wales and Banc Cambria to build a banking sector that will transform Wales’s economy, create sustainable growth and a healthier society.

Askar Sheibani is CEO of Comtek Network Systems UK Ltd and chair of DBF

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