FINANCE NEWS: Charity Bank 's first year proves profitable

Mathew Little

The first charity to be authorised as a bank in the UK has increased its balance sheet by more than 60 per cent in its first year.

Charity Bank, which was launched by Chancellor Gordon Brown at 11 Downing Street last October, has also agreed 76 loans totalling more than £7.4m to charities and voluntary groups in its first year of operation.

The bank's total assets and liabilities stand at £15.2m, compared with £9.5m at launch.

Chairman David Clark commented: "During our first year we have made a prudent and steady start. As bankers for the common good we are actively seeking more capital and deposits while searching for opportunities to lend to charities with ideas to help others and the implementation skills to succeed."

NCVO recently invested £1,000 in Charity Bank voting shares. Chief executive Stuart Etherington said: "We recognise the need for the voluntary sector to diversify income streams. Investments such as this represent a way of investing in one another and building the collective wealth."

One of Charity Bank's most popular products has been its CITRA bank account, which offers tax relief under the government's Community Investment Tax Relief Scheme. More than £5m has been invested, including £1m from a single anonymous investor.

Charity Bank evolved out of the Charities Aid Foundation Investors in Society.

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