‘Bank Of Dave’ Ending, Explained: Is Dave Fishwick Finally Able To Gather Money To Start A Bank?

What a joy to watch a good human interest story of a self-made millionaire who wants to give back to the community in a way it would term legal. Turns out this is based on the true story of a man named Dave Fishwick who had only a single goal, to start a bank that would serve the community and not bask in its profit. Is Dave able to get through all the nitty-gritty required to start a bank? Directed by Chris Foggin, this Netflix original film, “Bank of Dave,” stars Joel Fry, Phoebe Dynevor, Rory Kinnear, and Angus Wright. This film was released on the platform on 16th January 2023.

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Spoilers Ahead


Dave And Hugh’s Path To Starting A Bank

Dave and his wife are self-made millionaires who became rich by selling minivans and are content with their business so far. Dave is known to be a generous businessman who has helped plenty of run-down businessmen and unemployed people with an investment so that they could either start a business to survive or restart their old business, which got shut down due to the recession that affected every part of Europe. Dave comes across as a man who wouldn’t think twice before helping the people of his town Burnley, in Lancashire. One of his friends, a bar owner who started a successful running business, having taken a loan from Dave, returns the final installment of the same. He suggests Dave start a bank on his own for the help he has done around the town to revive a small business economy. Even though the growth was slow and steady, it revived the economy. Dave and his wife consider the idea of starting a bank that would only benefit the community, as the profit earned from the bank would only go to charity and other people who would need money to start other new businesses. Dave and his wife push this idea to the extent that they approach a law firm headed by Clarence. Dave thinks he can use this money for a good cause. He already has a successful running business, and he has proven to the community that he can be trusted. Everyone in the town knows Dave does not have any malicious intent to scam anyone. The evidence of businesses flourishing is proof of the fact that Dave means well. Clarence assigns Hugh to have a meeting with the client and helps him understand the legal way to start a small bank, along with the bureaucracy which they have to trudge through to become a financial institution, even on a small scale. Clarence and Hugh, in the beginning, hope that they can convey to Dave the complicated legalities of starting a bank, along with the fact that the Federal Reserve Board would have plenty of questions about a man of means but not much of a qualification wanting to start a financial institution only to help people. Everyone knows banking is just another business, and all bankers are out there just to make a profit out of the loans they provide. Their intention is never to serve the community. Hugh and Clarence wonder if Dave is just an outlandish man with outlandish ideas.

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In the same town, Alexandra is a doctor working at a government clinic in the town who wants to propose a walk-in clinic for those who don’t suffer from major illnesses but only require the attention of general physicians. A free walk-in clinic will help to deal with small-scale ailments, as other government clinics and hospitals are usually full, which leads to these cases being neglected. Dr. Alexandra puts across this proposal to the local government, but it is sidelined by being asked to contact the NHS for funding. The NHS also refuses to fund this clinic, and therefore Alexandra’s plan for a healthier community is put on hold. Alexandra, as a doctor, wants to serve the community better by starting this facility, and she is struggling to find funding from government bodies. Either the budget is constrained or the money is allocated for another public facility. Alexandra is trying hard to get this facility started, but the capital seems to be a problem.

Hugh is now in the town of Burnley to meet Dave, and he is impressed by the clarity of thought Dave carries about the business he wants to start. Hugh notices the entire town knows this man, so the trust factor is covered. Hugh understands Dave’s need to make his loaning money business into a legitimate entity. Hugh also knows FRB will create issues so that he doesn’t open a not-for-profit bank. Hugh and Clarence see this as an opportunity to make a difference. Hugh looks at it as a means to help people in need, and he genuinely sees Dave wants to bring about a change in the way banking in the country works. Dave goes on a rant about how the recession was caused by capitalist bankers, and that they faced no jail term for causing that. It is the normal people who were severely affected by it. Dave wants to be the rule breaker here and not follow the usual path bankers in the city take. Dave believes that the bankers consider themselves to be an elite group who will not let anyone bypass them, especially the not-so-educated Dave. Dave wants to show these bankers who hold a monopoly that banking can be for the benefit of the community, and even a meagerly educated person like Dave can aspire to become a banker. Hugh now understands the passion Dave carries for himself by looking at all the people in his town Dave has helped. Dave proudly announces that none of the loans went bad.

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Hugh also realizes that one of the schemes Dave wants to fund with the start of this bank is that of the free walk-in clinics spearheaded by Dr. Alexandra. Dr. Alexandra turns out to be Dave’s niece, and he wants to help her establish these clinics which will benefit the community. Hugh is attracted to Alexandra as a person and the kind of work she wants to do for others. Hugh is also impressed by Dave’s CV and convinces Clarence to take up the client to formulate the legality of starting the bank, which would include getting approval from the FRB as well. Clarence is happy to see Hugh getting all pumped up about this case and backs him with all the support he can. Everything at this point seems easy and smooth, but both Dave, Clarence, and Hugh know there will be resistance, which they expect from higher authorities at FRB, who will cause a hindrance. They don’t know when, but it will come.


‘Bank Of Dave’ Ending Explained: Is Dave Fishwick Finally Able To Gather Enough Money To Start A Bank?

Dave Fishwick is clear on what he wants to do by establishing a bank, and for that, Hugh’s boss, Clarence, gets them to talk to Sir Charles, who is a senior fellow in the banking circle. Hugh meets with him and talks about Dave’s proposal and what he intends to do with it. Sir Charles is a traditionalist and an old-school guy who rejects the idea, as he thinks a man like Dave doesn’t have what it takes to run a bank, be it of any scale. Hugh is taken aback by Sir Charles’s pessimism but continues to go ahead with Dave’s plan and does pay any heed to Sir Charles’s discouragement. Meanwhile, Hugh runs into an old friend, Hen, with whom he ends up spending an evening at the pub drinking while she sobs about her ex becoming her boss and that she might lose her job because of it. Hugh, being a gentleman, takes her back to his place. She is working for FRB as well, and she ends up discreetly going through Dave Fishwick’s paperwork. By this time, Hugh is confident that Dave can make it work, even though they are sure to face some kind of opposition. Dave, on the other hand, wants to see what reasons the elite men and women of the banking world will come up with to stop them.

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As Hugh submits all the paperwork with the FRB for the formation of the new bank, Dave Fishwick starts facing the backlash when he is arrested by the London Police for loan sharking. Dave Fishwick is surprised, but Hugh is not, for he realizes the money Dave lent for his friend’s husband’s funeral service—he’d lent it out as a loan upon his friend’s insistence. The formalizing of the loan using a document became a problem at the local court of Burnley, where the case was filed. Though Dave pleads not guilty, Hugh declares that an error has happened. But Hugh also projects the fact that this case is a malicious attempt to discredit his client, Dave Fishwick, for if he is proven guilty, which is highly likely, Dave won’t be able to open the bank as he intends to because of his criminal background. Hugh picked up on this plot rather quickly, and with the help of Alexandra’s sister, who is a journalist, and another friend at a local police station, it is confirmed that Sir Charles was the one who tipped off the London Police to carry out this arrest. Why is London Police interested in a man allegedly indulging in loan sharking in a small town like Burnley? This has to be the to-be handiwork of a man who thinks Dave is a big threat to the banking elites, who believe they can get away by not posturing as bad people but taking the course of the judiciary to end Dave’s big plans for the bank. Hugh proves the involvement of Sir Charles in this case, and the prosecution’s case of Dave’s loan sharking is dismissed by the local Burnley court. Hugh is beyond happy to see his client Dave prosper and be on the path of becoming a known banker in the community. Sir Charles and his team of elites remain embarrassed about the stunt they pulled to make sure Dave’s bank plans become history. Dave’s friend Rick Purdey, who was the former manager of the famous rock band Def Leppard, introduces Hugh and Alexandra to another band named the Goa Express. Hugh and Alexandra go on a date, and they start liking one another. Alexandra and Dave are grateful to Hugh for helping them and being on their side from the beginning, supporting their cause, and for Hugh also believing in Dave’s dream of changing the regular banking system. The elites are worried about the fact that Bank of Dave might become popular, and this would become a threat to their model of banks, and their customers would lose trust in them in the wake of the global recession as well.

As FRB invited Dave and Hugh to London to discuss the bank plans, both were prepared to be rejected but were hoping to hear the reason put forward by FRB. To their surprise, FRB takes up their proposal and agrees to establish the bank in the town of Burnley provided they follow the strict rules and regulations, plus his bank, as per another rule, is required to have 12 million pounds to start functioning this financial entity. Dave and Hugh are shocked their proposal was accepted, and they can go ahead with their plans. All Dave must do is gather 12 million pounds. Dave is shaking now to think his plan was approved, but the thought of getting 12 million pounds scares him. He will have to mortgage practically everything he owns to get that kind of amount. Hugh is happy to have helped Dave on this journey and is proud to have supported the right man for the right cause. Dave is also excited to see his journey prosper after he gets hold of the said money in 90 days. Dave is no more Hugh’s client, as his work with him is over, and he is assigned another high-profile case. Hugh contacts Dave after a while to know the status of the money drive, to which Dave responds he is trying his level best, but he has not reached the 12 million mark yet. Hugh feels bad that Dave would come this close to achieving his dream, and he won’t be able to fulfill it because of a technicality. Hugh wants to help but is unsure how to do so. Hugh, just like the entire town of Burnley, believes in Dave’s confidence and trusts in his dream. Meanwhile, Hiugh also comes to know his friend. Hen was the one who tipped Sir Charles off about the details of how Dave’s bank would function. He confronts her, and she doesn’t deny her role in it. She claims she had to do it to save her job, and it worked because she was given a promotion for the tip she provided.

Hugh realizes Dave has been set up to fail by putting forward a huge amount, which the bankers know Dave won’t be able to fulfill. Hugh decides he must move to Burnley to help Dave raise money for the bank. He proposes the idea of approaching Rick to get Def Leppard to agree to do a concert. It is a far-fetched idea, but it is worth a shot. Rick manages to get hold of the legendary band, and they agree to do the concert for the town and Dave. As the concert idea is in motion, Dave finally starts getting traction on the money front. He had managed to get hold of some amount but was unable to get the full sun. This concert’s success or failure would make or break things for him. On the day of the concert, Dave is unable to reach the said amount, but he is happy that he tried to fulfill his dream. His wife and friends are proud of the work he has done; there is nothing they would not do for him. Dave is one million short of the mark, and the deadline is in just a few days. Hugh borrows the said amount from his boss Clarence and puts up his apartment as collateral, for he is moving to Burnley right now. He informs Alexandra of the same, for she realizes he gave the last one million. Alexandra understands that he is moving to this town not just for Dave but to be around her, as she knows how he feels about her. She confesses her love to him as well. Hugh believed in Dave’s dream, and that’s the reason he offered to pay the last one million so that Dave can see how fulfilling it is to see one’s dream come true. Bank of Dave finally opens and to date, it sticks to what it began for. Helping the needy, establishing businesses, restarting businesses, and tons of charity work to do after gaining profit, Dave is an inspiration who dared to be different in a world that was following the same path for decades. His bank was the first one to be approved for functioning in the last 150 years. Dave must have done something different. Even though the elites of the banking world tried to destabilize him, there was nothing that could have stopped Dave’s honesty and resilience. It was also Dave’s constant optimism that helped Hugh to become a positive person and believe in all things good.


Final Thoughts

“Bank of Dave” happens to be a feel-good biographical comedy that showcases how resilience and a can-do attitude help people like Dave to achieve their dreams. Dave does not just help himself, but he helps the entire community, and all of this comes off in the film rather well. The screenplay could have been complex, as the obstruction in the form of banking elites, and the solution to beat them at their game felt rather simple. It surely couldn’t have been that easy to collide with people who have been running the institutions for decades. I wish the writers could have spent more time explaining the banker’s elaborate role in trying to bring Dave down. This would have made the storytelling and narrative intense. Dave’s struggle could not have been this easy to sort. The performances, though, kept the film afloat, as it is a joy to watch Rory Kinnear being the amazing Dave Fishwick. “Bank of Dave” is all about optimism, good vibes, and good work, and how all of this will eventually pay off. A good watch indeed.

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“Bank of Dave” is now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.


Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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