RBS invests £10m into social finance charity


RBS invests £10m into social finance charity

The Royal Bank of Scotland has invested £10m to provide extra Community Business Loans to organisations that find it difficult to access mainstream finance.

The new investment into the bank's social finance charity, formerly known as the RBS Micro Finance Funds, coincides with a name change to RBS Social & Community Capital (S&CC). Organisations including social enterprises, charities and co-operatives can access loan funding from £30,000 up to £1 million, depending on the type of organisation. The name change better reflects the charity's purpose.

Simon Jacobs, Chief Administrative Officer for RBS Commercial & Private Banking, who is also Chair of S&CC, said: “This charity has been providing social finance into communities across the UK since 1999. Our current clients range from small social enterprises looking to grow; to heritage and community re-development projects; to community finance institutions, who provide more affordable alternatives to payday loans. Earlier this year we reached the milestone of £5m of approved loans since 2011. Our success has led to this new investment of £10m, which re-asserts RBS’s commitment to making this type of funding more accessible.”

“It’s hugely important that these organisations, that do such valuable work in communities right across the UK, have access to the finance they need to succeed and grow. This new investment from RBS will allow us to provide that more than ever."

Rob Wilson, Minister for Civil Society said: "RBS and NatWest have long been supporters of the development of social finance in the UK. Once again, these organisations are showing their pioneering spirit with this latest announcement, which will help charities and social enterprises to access the investment that they need to grow and remain sustainable."

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “The social investment market is growing fast, but many social enterprises still struggle to find suitable finance. Our research shows that social enterprises are often looking for smaller amounts of investment, so the expansion of this fund is a great move to help keep capital flowing into the sector. RBS has been a longstanding champion of social enterprise and this is another sign of their continued commitment to help the sector grow and thrive.”

RBS’s continuing support for S&CC is part of its Inspiring Social Enterprise initiative, launched in 2013. Inspiring Social Enterprise set a target to support 2,500 social enterprises with access to finance, markets and expertise by the end of 2015. That target has already been exceeded with 2,638 social enterprises supported and £2.9m already invested into social enterprise development.

Applications for RBS Social & Community Capital are accepted year round and more information, including how to request an application form, can be found here .

Watch Thom Kenrick, Head of Community programmes and James Redhead, Finance Director at Technology Trust, discuss the RBS S&CC

The structure of the loans, including rates and fees, will be agreed on an individual basis. Security in an acceptable form from the borrower will normally be required. 

RBS Social & Community Capital is an independent charity, registered in England No: 03901460, Charity Registration No: 1079626.

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