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Northumberland Community Bank Appoints New CEO to Spearhead Regional Growth

Northumberland Community Bank (NCB) has announced the appointment of Scott Wilson-Laing as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Scott has built up a prominent profile in the North East region from his current and past tenures which has seen him work closely and build relationships with businesses and leaders across the North East.

Scott’s skills set and background is expansive, and his appointment will support Northumberland Community Bank at a pivotal time as they enter a period of transition and growth.

Prior to this role Scott held the post of Business Engagement Manager at the North East Chamber of Commerce, the North East’s largest and most influential business membership network, which enabled him to work with a diverse range of businesses across the region to help them grow, innovate and thrive.

The new role of CEO at Northumberland Community Bank will also see Scott leverage his experience as a Founder and Managing Director of WL Distillery, where he created and developed an internationally recognised multi-award-winning distillery.

Scott Wilson-Laing, new Chief Executive of Northumberland Community Bank Picture: DAVID WOOD

Passionate about skills development, business support and nature conservation, Scott has been honoured with several awards including the UK Business Hero, a Batonbearer for the Queen’s Baton Relay and the Most Pioneering Gin Distillery Managing Director.

Northumberland Community Bank (NCB) was launched in April 2017, and the aim was to benefit more people in Northumberland by creating an organisation which could offer a sustainable source of lending for individuals and micro businesses together with a safe home for savings.

Northumberland Community Bank stands out from traditional high street banks for one primary reason: they are genuinely for people, not profit. Making the financial institution a unique proposition to the wider community and region.

Scott Wilson-Laing, new Chief Executive of Northumberland Community Bank with staff members Julie Mills (Service Manager), Adam Lewis (Member Service Officer) and Mollie Self (Member Service Officer) Picture: DAVID WOOD

Scott Wilson-Laing, Chief Executive Officer, Northumberland Community Bank said,

“I am thrilled to join Northumberland Community Bank as the business enters a stage of transition and a new growth trajectory. The role is an exciting new challenge for me to utilise and leverage my many transferable skills from my previous roles of working closely with businesses across the North East.

Northumberland Community Bank is heavily rooted and has a strong track record across Northumberland, especially in Ashington, and the next stage of transition is to roll-out the successful formula across the North East.

The last month has been a great introduction into the ethos of the business as a I have joined at one of the busiest times of the year. I would like to give my thanks to the team, Board of Trustees, and Ashington Town Council, who have been very welcoming. It is great to be based in the Town Hall as it is at the heart of the community and is a great base for us to engage with local people.”

Unlike traditional banks, Northumberland Community Bank is a financial co-operative, which means they don’t have external shareholders. Instead, they are owned by their members, and they play a crucial role in how the bank is run. This ownership structure ensures that the bank’s decisions are made with the community’s best interests in mind.

Scott is responsible for a team of six, and works closely alongside the Board of Trustees who have a vision to cascade the important work that is executed in Northumberland and expand the services across the whole of the North East.

Working with key partners and a core group of businesses as part of their payroll partnerships such as Bernicia, Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Water the team currently support thousands of people in Northumberland. As a financial co-operative, their customers are members. By generating deposits from those members, a fund is created allowing the bank to lend to local people, including those vulnerable to high interest lenders such as Pay Day and Door Stop lenders and Loan Sharks.

Scott added,

“The ethos and values at Northumberland Community Bank were a real trigger in the decision to take on the role. The festive season is upon us, which is a time of uncertainty

for many people, which can tempt people to get embroiled with high interest lenders, the team work closely with the community to support so many to avoid these traps, and I’m in awe at the work they do.”

Northumberland Community Bank’s commitment to people, not profit, results in a tangible, positive impact on the lives of members. Every week, they witness people who come to them seeking assistance, guidance, and financial support. Northumberland Community Bank is more than just a financial institution; they are seen as a trusted partner in the community, offering a helping hand when needed the most.

Mark I’Anson, Chair, Northumberland Community Bank said,

“The Board has found a strong and passionate leader in Scott, and we are pleased to welcome him to Northumberland Community Bank. His extensive experience across a range of sectors will help guide us through an important period of growth as we move into the next phase of our journey.”

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