Big Society Bank part 6

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude has endorsed outline proposals for the development of a Big Society Bank presented by the Independent Advisers, Sir Ronald Cohen and Nick O’Donohoe. The Minister has also directed the Big Lottery Fund to establish an interim Investment Committee which will use dormant account money it has received to start making investments from this summer.

The Big Society Bank will become fully operational following State Aid approval and Financial Services Authority authorisation. It will act as a wholesale investor for social investment and champion the sector to the public, stakeholders and investors. It will invest capital in intermediaries so that they are able to invest in frontline organisations. It will not make grants. It will also invest in developing a powerful infrastructure for the social investment sector. In the meantime, the Investment Committee will provide support to social investment organisations enabling them to increase their capability. The Investment Committee will comprise six experts in social and financial investment.

Third Sector magazine summarises the proposals and reports that, “The bank’s ‘operating entity’ will be a company limited by shares. This will be owned by a company limited by guarantee, which will provide monitoring and oversight. The bank will also have a charitable arm in order to accept donations and redistribute profits.

“The bank will have about 40 employees and will have separate governing boards at both company levels, made up of both finance experts and representatives from the social sector.”


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