Castle Community Bank


This is a story about one man’s fight against pay day lenders. The Reverend Iain May is a former senior banker with American Express, Allied Irish bank and RBS. He gave up the life of a high-flying banking official to follow his ‘calling’ and became a parish minister.

Concerned about the number of Pay Day Lending outlets around his area in Leith, Edinburgh, he set about using his vast skills garnered over 20 years in banking to help establish Castle Community Bank  as an ethical, ‘not-for-profit’ bank for everyone.

Acumen has been working with Castle Community Bank since its launch in July 2016 and it now has 1500 customers with £650k of deposits and an active Loan Book with approximately £440k of loans under management. The launch last July was very successful with widespread media coverage

However, one element of our work was to tell the story nationally and Acumen arranged this through The New Statesman… but this particular story does not end there.


That article was seen by a researcher on ITN News and The Reverend May soon found himself telling his story on News at Ten


Subsequent interviews were arranged on The John Beattie Programme on BBC Radio Scotland (which ran for 20 minutes), BBC Radio Five Live and Talk Radio.


Not at all bad, for a man of the cloth wanting to ensure people do not have to turn to payday lenders, pawn shops and ‘Cash a Cheque’ – style establishments to tie them over, but create a bank which works for everyone.