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  1. ITV Report

Reverend and former banker helps tackle loan sharks

A former international banker is taking on the loan sharks, after helping to launch a community bank.

The former group head of planning and strategy at Allied Irish Banks in Dublin was relaxing on his yacht off the east coast of Scotland, enjoying wine and oysters with his wife when he suddenly decided "we have to change our life".

Rev Iain May was relaxing on his yacht when he decided on his lifestyle change. Credit: ITV News

Iain May said he realised: "People are being exploited financially and you have to do something about that.

"Your Christian calling tells you that you are there to help those who are less advantaged than yourself."

Rev Iain May wants to help those less fortunate than himself. Credit: ITV News

Instead the 57-year-old became a Church of Scotland minister in one of Edinburgh's most deprived areas and used his financial skills to help set up Castle Community Bank.

The bank offers savings and loans to anyone with an Edinburgh postcode and aims to help those who might otherwise fall victim to loan sharks.

Rather than the bank's profits lining the pockets of its shareholders, they are ploughed back into the community, while the directors are all volunteers.

Rev Iain May has combined his faith with his knowledge of finance. Credit: ITV News

"We're never going to be another huge, multinational bank," explained Rev May.

"What we are is a good option for people in the community who think at times that they don't have any options, and for people who do have options to think 'yeah I do want to support a bank in the community', and that's what Castle Community Bank is all about, a bank in the community for everyone in the community."