“We can decentralise power in our monetary system by abandoning the big banks and instead creating and supporting local not-for-profit community banks ...”
Richard A. Werner, 2017
WHY COMMUNITY BANKING?
Modern banking is broken. The incentives are all wrong. Neither major banks nor the national central banks that control the money supply take their responsibility for the economy’s health seriously. Their incentives twist their mission.
Economies with concentrated banking systems tend to produce uneven economic development with boom-bust cycles and increasing inequality. Decentralised banking systems consisting of many small local banks, tend to have thriving communities, high job creation, low unemployment, lower inequality and resilience to external shocks, as well as fewer financial and economic crises.
Community banks have a long and remarkable track record having been tried and tested in the three countries with the largest number of banks: the USA, Germany, and China. Community banks are not just important for the economy but they are more accountable and more robust. During the 2008 financial crisis, not one community bank in Germany required a bailout from the taxpayers. Instead of maximizing fees, avoiding taxes, and trying hard to extract money from customers, community banks seek to lend ethically and work hand-in-hand with small businesses.
The result is greater business competitiveness and greater general prosperity for the community they serve.
WHY ARE SMES SO IMPORTANT?
The importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) cannot be overstated.
For example, in the European Union (EU), SMEs with less than 250 employees.
Constitute 99.8% of all firms Employ 75.2% of the labour force Contribute to 53% of the gross value added of the total economy are the biggest net job creators.
In addition, there is a sub-sample of SMEs that rank in the top-3 in terms of global market share in their market niches. These are known as "hidden champions". As of 2014, Germany had the highest number of "hidden champions" in the world, both in absolute terms (1,300+) and per capita (16 per 1,000,000 residents).
Their success in no small part is due to the 1,500+ banks that the country has (the highest number in Europe). Of these, around 70% are locally-controlled, small, community banks that lend to local SMEs, that in turn account for a large bulk of German exports.
However, despite this success and their general importance to an economy, SMEs often have a hard time accessing external funding, and when their loan applications are accepted, the terms of the loan contract are generally less advantageous compared to larger borrowers.
Valhalla Network’s aims to solve these issues and have a mission to build a network of community banks governed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).
HOW WILL IT WORK?
These community banks will serve as centres for sustainable economic growth by focusing on lending to local small & medium sized enterprises in an ethical manner. Each community bank will be owned 75% by Valhalla Network and the remaining 25% split between a charity foundation and bank staff incentives. This means each bank will allocate a significant portion of their dividends to a charity that reinvests into local, social, and community initiatives as per the DAO’s ESG (environmental, social, and governance) policy.
TO MEET THESE AIMS
WILL EXECUTE TWO PHASES...
The establishment of a specialised for-profit bank. The bank can combine higher returns with a buffered financial model, contrary to traditional banking models.
The fundamental aim of Phase 1 is to act as a base to support the DAO in its early life and help propel Valhalla Network into Phase 2, the establishment of community banks.
We forecast the bank to begin operations 3-6 months after the token generation event (“TGE”).
Setup and launch of the for-profit bank will take approximately 18-24 months from date of private sale; this includes setting up the Foundation and banking entity, executing the technical solution, and the application and authorisation of a banking licence.
We forecast Phase 2 to begin TGE+1, after the Phase 1 bank is fully operational. Valhalla Network will build a network of community banks across the world, starting in Europe and targeting specific countries and communities with the most need.
The community banks will revitalize the local economy by acting as a center of sustainable growth. A portion of all profits will go towards a charity foundation which will fund & support local community initiatives, and engage with local schools to provide financial education to teens and young adults.
While the community banks are set-up and become profitable, the Phase 1 bank will provide increasing cash flows to support the DAO and token holders. Eventually, there will be a consistent flow of new community banks
‘becoming profitable’ and the system will be entirely self-sustaining.