Call for Futurebuilders England cash to fund social investment bank

NCVO chief Etherington wants loan fund repayments to capitalise a wholesale lender

A social investment wholesale bank could be set up with money repaid to the Futurebuilders England loan fund, according to the chief executive of the NCVO.

Stuart Etherington told the annual general meeting of social lender Charity Bank this week that it was important to set up a social investment bank as quickly as possible.

But he said he did not believe the bank was likely to be funded with money from the Dormant Bank and Building Societies Accounts Act, which the Government said would be the source of any cash for the bank. The Government has stated previously that its top two spending priorities for unclaimed assets will be youth work and tackling social exclusion. 

"I think we need to find funding from elsewhere," he said. "As income flows back to Futurebuilders, a lot of that money could be used to capitalise a wholesale lender.

"This would be an effective way for a government looking to make savings to fund a bank without having to use new money."

Etherington also said he would like to see a £50m government investment to attract other sources of capital into the bank.

The Government has pledged to carry out a consultation into how a Social Investment Bank might operate, documents released at the Budget in April revealed.

David Ainsworth recommends

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