Bank of Dave: Inspiration for Netflix film Dave Fishwick gives advice to entrepreneurs


As the Bank of Dave film starring Rory Kinnear is released on Netflix TODAY, read the best business advice our star columnist has dished out to readers

  • Self-made millionaire Dave Fishwick’s story has been turned into a Netflix film 
  • As our agony uncle, Dave regularly helps readers with their own businesses
  • Have a question for Dave? Email bankondave@thisismoney.co.uk 

The story of how Dave Fishwick became a self-made millionaire and set up a community bank in Burnley debuts on Netflix today.

Dave Fishwick is This Is Money’s business doctor 

Dave made his fortune selling vans and minibuses before setting up Burnley Savings and Loans – otherwise known as the Bank of Dave – to help those struggling to borrow from the high street with his no-nonsense lending model.

During and after the financial crisis, he was fed-up with how businesses were struggling to get finance for vehicles and the rest is history.

He took matters into his own hands, setting up a bank, presenting a hugely successful and award-winning Channel Four programme and publishing a best-selling book, though there were plenty of big hurdles along the way.

The film Bank of Dave follows how Dave, played by Rory Kinnear, took on the financial institutions of London and fought to receive the first new banking license to be issued in Britain for more than 100 years.

He has now lent nearly £30million via his bank and has a three year waiting list for people to open a savings account.

The film, which also stars Joel Fry and Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor, was released on Netflix today.

A long time friend of This Is Money, Dave regularly writes a column giving our readers advice on setting up and running a small business.

We’ve taken a look at some of Dave’s best business doctor columns over the past year, as more people consider setting up on their own but face a number of headwinds. 

Rory Kinnear stars in the Bank of Dave film which has been released on Netflix today

Rory Kinnear stars in the Bank of Dave film which has been released on Netflix today 

I’m nervous about quitting my well paid job to start my dream food truck business

I’ve been with the same company for 20 years and feel ready for a new challenge. My passion is food and I want to start a food truck business. Am I cut out to be a business owner? 

Dave explains the benefits of starting out part-time to help understand the market before quitting a well-paid job. 

How can I pass on price rises at my bakery?  

The costs at my small bakery have risen substantially and I need to pass on the extra costs to customers. I’m worried I’ll lose loyal customers. 

Inflation is among the top concerns for small business owners amid the cost of living crisis. Dave talks our reader through through the best way to pass on costs and communicate with customers. 

He says: ‘You cannot consistently beat your large competitors on price. However, you can beat everyone with your service, so always play to your strengths and give the best, most friendly service possible.’ 

My landlord is hiking my rent – should I move online? 

Dave Fishwick

I run a local butchers but I am considering giving up my shop as the landlord is hiking the rent. Should I move solely online? 

Dave suggests negotiating with the landlord but notes business rates are a drag on many high street businesses. He suggests our reader look at small business rate relief but also at the benefits of diversifying the product range to help with repeat business. 

How do I sell my business without employees finding out?

I have a small niche business that employs 11 people and as I’m ready to retire, I’d like to sell the business and premises. How can I sell up without my employees finding out

Dave understands the moral quandary when it comes to selling a business and admits he will have to answer this question at some point. 

He suggests selling the business to a member of staff or a group of staff members, before speaking to an established business broker. 

My son didn’t do well in his A Levels and is at a loss  

My son received his A Level exam results and didn’t do as well as he expected. Do you have any words of encouragement? 

Dave, who has no qualifications to his name, dishes out an invaluable pep talk to our reader’s son and points to the benefits of apprenticeships. 

He says: ‘I left school at 16 on a Friday afternoon. The following Monday at 6.30am, I was sitting on the back of an old builders pick-up truck, with sand blowing in my face, wearing a donkey jacket, with a flask of milky tea in one pocket and some beef paste butties wrapped in tin foil, stuffed in the other. I was on my way to a building site.’ 

Since then he has built several multimillion pound businesses. 

‘A setback like exam results may, in time, be something you see as a necessary event to point your son in the right direction. Adversity can make you stronger if you can turn disappointment into determination.’  

Ask Dave Fishwick a business or career advice question

Self-made millionaire and entrepreneur Dave Fishwick is our new columnist responding to your questions about business and careers.

Dave has a hugely successful minibus and vehicle business based in Lancashire and rose to fame with his BAFTA-winning television series, Bank of Dave, which saw him battle the big banks.

He is ready to answer your questions, whether you own a business, thinking about starting one or have general career questions. 

In his spare time, he likes to give talks to inspire people to be the best they can. 

A Netflix movie about Bank of Dave is set to air at the end of the year/start of 2023 and he has been a friend to This is Money for the last decade. He now wants to impart some of his wisdom and advice to our readers.

If you would like to ask Dave a question, please email him at bankondave@thisismoney.co.uk 

Dave will do his best to reply to your message in a forthcoming column, but he won’t be able to answer everyone or correspond privately with readers. Nothing in his replies constitutes regulated financial advice. Published questions are sometimes edited for brevity or other reasons.

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