Bank of Dave: is Netflix film a true story? Who is Dave Fishwick, where is he now - and cast with Rory Kinnear

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Netflix biopic Bank of Dave tells the amazing true story of a self-made millionaire who fights to set up a community bank

Bank of Dave tells the story of how a working class man from Burnley became a self-made millionaire and decided to set up a community bank to help others. Dave wants to make sure that local businesses across Burnley survive and thrive in tough economic times.

As he sets out on his mission to gain the first new banking licence to be issued in more than a century he comes up against strong resistance from London’s elite established financial institutions.

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Dave enlists the help of young lawyer Hugh, who helps him build a case against Britain’s banking system and enact real positive change for ordinary people. Eventually, Dave sets up a fundraising concert for his bank, and rock band Def Leppard perform a set to lend support to the cause.

Is Bank of Dave a true story?

Remarkably, Bank of Dave is based on a true story - Dave Fishwick is the inspiration for the film.Like his film counterpart, Fishwick began helping out those in his community following the 2008 financial crash.

He lent out his own money to his customers who had been declined loans by the banks. Seeing the good that this did for the community, it led him to the idea of starting a community bank.

Rory Kinnear and Dave Fishwick at the Bank of Dave world premiereRory Kinnear and Dave Fishwick at the Bank of Dave world premiere
Rory Kinnear and Dave Fishwick at the Bank of Dave world premiere | Getty Images for Netflix

And, much like in the film, Dave faced resistance at every step of the way, but he eventually made good on his dream, opening Burnley Savings and Loans in 2011, and using "Bank on Dave!" as the company’s slogan.

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Burnley Savings and Loans is still not officially a bank - instead it is an independent lending company. It turned a profit within six months of trading which was then passed onto the local community. The company announced that by 2022 it had given out loans totalling more than £27 million to thousands of businesses, mostly in Lancashire and the north of England.

Dave’s scheme was the focus of the 2012 Channel 4 series Bank of Dave. Fishwick released a book about his experience, Bank of Dave: How I Took On the Banks, in the same year.

One aspect of the film which unfortunately is a work of fiction, is the appearance of Def Leppard. In the movie, they save the day by performing at a fundraiser for Dave’s bank, but this did not happen in real life.

The real Dave Fishwick is a huge Def Leppard fan, so producers thought it would be a good idea to get the Sheffield band on board. Fishwick told The Sun that meeting them was “probably, if not definitely, the best day of my life”.

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Rory Kinnear plays Dave Fishwick in Bank of DaveRory Kinnear plays Dave Fishwick in Bank of Dave
Rory Kinnear plays Dave Fishwick in Bank of Dave | Netflix / Paul Stephenson

Where is Dave Fishwick now?

Dave is still doing well for himself - he is a millionaire who made his money by running the UK’s largest minibus supplier. He still works at Burnley Loans and Savings, and continues to help the community through the company.

He continues to lobby parliament for changes to the banking industry. Recently he has been promoting the Netflix film, appearing on programmes such as BBC Breakfast and Channel 5 News to discuss it.

Who is in the cast of Bank and Dave?

  • Rory Kinnear as Dave
  • Joel Fry as Hugh
  • Hugh Bonneville as Sir Charles
  • Paul Kaye as Rick Purdey
  • Phoebe Dynevor as Alexandra
  • Jo Hartley as Nicola Fishwick
  • Angus Wright as Clarence
  • Drew Cain as Prosecutor
  • Cathy Tyson as Maureen
  • Florence Hall as Meghan
  • Def Leppard as themselves Def Leppard

Where can you watch Bank of Dave?

Bank of Dave was released on Netflix in the UK on Monday 16 January and is available to watch now.

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