Call for fresh consultation on social investment bank

OTS paper based on ideology rather than fact, says Unity Trust Bank

Social lender Unity Trust Bank has called for a new consultation on the proposed social investment wholesale bank because it claims the original exercise was based on flawed evidence.

John Brooks, sales and marketing director of Unity Trust Bank, said his organisation carried out research for its response to the Office of the Third Sector consultation on the bank, which closed last month.

In doing so, he said he found that the references and supporting documents were quoting opinions as if they were facts.

"We spoke to the people who had done the research cited in the consultation document, and often they said that they hadn't reached the conclusions that were presented," said Brooks. "Another, more structured consultation is needed."

Brooks said that the OTS paper claimed the bank was necessary in order to counter the effects of market failure, but this appeared to be based on "ideology rather than substantiated fact".

He said the bank was not the first of its kind, as the Government claimed. He said several similar organisations already existed in the US, such as the Local Initiatives Support Coalition, which helps third sector organisations in deprived neighbourhoods.

Brooks said his organisation did not oppose a social investment wholesale bank but that it needed the right structure and scale to be effective.

The OTS declined to comment.

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