The charity, known from today as RBS Social & Community Capital but formerly RBS Micro Finance Fund, was set up 15 years ago as a group of 10 regional funds, aligned to the now-defunct Regional Development Agencies.
Throughout its life the charity has made investments which the bank could not. This remains its core purpose. We want to make it easier for social enterprises and community organisations to get access to the funding they need.
Clients include small social enterprises; community and heritage re-development projects; and community finance organisations who are providing viable (and cheaper) alternatives to payday loans in communities across Britain. This new investment will help S&CC continue to serve all these customers - and more - in the years to come.
For RBS, this investment is the latest in a long history of pioneering support and investment to help develop community and social finance in the UK. RBS didn't join the social enterprise party once it was cool. The bank has played a part in creating many of the organisations and projects that make up the fabric of the sector today.
This includes the Community Development Finance Association, Social Enterprise UK, the RBS SE100 index, and Big Society Capital, right up to this year's inaugural UK Social Investment Awards, which we developed in partnership with the Cabinet Office. While some people may dismiss these efforts as not material and/or 'CSR spin', it is worth considering the impact that each of these has gone on to have in shaping the sector.
And RBS remains committed to them all, demonstrating a long-term commitment to developing this market that is unrivalled. This latest investment reinforces that and will help the bank to continue to learn how to serve these customers better.