Catalonian community bank attracts private investors

Over 148 private investors have become founding shareholders in a new digital community bank for Catalan people.

The new bank offers a mix of digital and traditional relationship banking services, alongside a private social network and B2B marketplace.

The startup is building on the strong sense of kinship shared by the Catalonian community, which erupted five years ago in a struggle to secure independence from Spain.

Jordi Roset, co-owner of the Petrolis Independents fuel chain, explains his decision to become a founding shareholder: “I am not investing in the bank like those shareholders who are all day looking at the stock market to see if they made a killing; for me it’s an investment for the future and the country.

“Moreover, as a Catalonian I would like to say that we saw many large banks with a long history here, decamp after the independence referendum in 2017. This really shocked all of us. To have a community bank like 11Onze, of which we are founding shareholders, gives me the confidence that it’s here for us and it will stay here for us, for our society and its business fabric.”

11Onze founder James Sène says being digital will not compromise its ambition to offer a personal service.

“When banks became digitised, they inevitably became distanced from their customers. Customers are often served by bots or strangers on the end of a phone line. 11Onze brings the local bank experience into a digital world,” he says. “Every customer will be connected to a dedicated 11Onze member whom they know by name and background. It’s not merely about going digital, it’s also about keeping it local and intimate.”

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