Banks 'will embrace social enterprises'

RBS business banking chair predicts more understanding approach by lenders

Social enterprises will find it easier in future to secure bank loans, the chairman of business banking at the Royal Bank of Scotland has predicted.

Peter Ibbetson told delegates at social enterprise conference Voice09 in Birmingham that banks would come to understand social enterprises better over the next few years, which would make loan deals more straightforward.

"I think we will have a change in how banks support social enterprises," he said. "I suspect that banks will see more value in supporting communities. I think banks will see more value in values."

Ibbetson said he believed it would be a gradual and difficult process to help banks understand how the social enterprise model worked – but once they did, they would become more sympathetic towards it.

"Banks will lend money to any business they think is sustainable," he said. "If social enterprise is sustainable, they should be willing to support it."

Ibbetson also predicted that private businesses would begin to adopt more financing models traditionally used by social companies.

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