Bank boosts loan book in aid of good causes

    THE Charity Bank on Tonbridge High Street has seen 2017 get off to a strong start after announcing it approved £28million of loans in the first five months of the year.

    In addition to its growing loan book, the financial institution Big Society Capital has invested £2.5 million in the share capital of Charity Bank and has committed in principle to invest a further £2.5 million by December 1.

    This will complete Big Society Capital’s pledge in March 2014 to invest up to £14.5 million in ordinary shares of Charity Bank. The money will allow it to make more loans to social sector organisations in the coming years.

    George Blunden, Chairman of Charity Bank, said: “These further injections of capital from Big Society Capital will enable us to meet the growing demand for loans from charities and social enterprises.

    “Share capital is vital to our mission. It underpins the bank and enables us to leverage our savers’ money. An investment in Charity Bank creates a multiple effect – for every £1 of share capital invested we can lend £8 to help create lasting social change in our communities.”

    The bank’s Chief Executive, Patrick Crawford (pictured), said the money it lends to the social sector will ensure it plays a ‘vital role’ in addressing the needs of communities during a period of ‘shifting political, social and economic outlook’.

    He added: “The stable quality and growing size of our loan book demonstrate that loans can be an important and effective tool for social sector organisations seeking to make a bigger difference to the world around them.”

    Having moved to Tonbridge in 2005, the bank then relocated two years ago to its current location in Fosse House. It has now lent £180 million since it was set up in 2002. The money is lent solely to charities, social enterprises and other organisations where the loan is for social purpose.

    Anna Shiel, Head of Origination of Big Society Capital said: “Big Society Capital’s investment in Charity Bank plays an important role in making capital available to small and medium sized charities. Over 850 loans have now been made to organisations totalling more than £180m. These loans have helped support people all around the UK.”

    Both organisations have benefitted from pro-bono legal advice given by the global law firm Linklaters who have contributed over 1,000 hours of specialist legal advice to Charity Bank over the past four years.