Headlines: July 21st, 2009

A Social Investment Wholesale Bank is likely to go ahead next year following the launch of a consultation by the Office of the Third Sector. The Bank would help third sector organisations to access the finance they need to grow and become more sustainable.

The consultation paper sets out the vision, the economic case and proposals for the design and functions of a potential bank. Government recognises the important role played by the third sector including social enterprises, as sustainable businesses with a social or environmental mission they contribute significantly to stronger local economies and a fairer society. Yet access to appropriate funding and finance is often the single biggest concern facing organisations driven by social or environmental purpose.

Stephen Timms, Financial Secretary to the Treasury said: “A strong and growing third sector needs a resilient and sustainable source of finance. This consultation represents an important opportunity to explore the concept of a Social Investment Wholesale Bank, and the role it could play in developing and adding value to the social investment market in a sustainable way. Such an institution could help deliver the Government’s commitment to supporting fair markets and to building the financial sustainability in the third sector that will allow it to grow and thrive.”

Consultation ends on 7 October 2009.