Finance News: Dickman proposes 'ethical' exchange from social banks

The UK's social banks should work more closely together in developing an ethical stock exchange, according to the retiring head of voluntary sector banking at the Co-operative Bank.

David Dickman, who is leaving the bank after 43 years, says the UK's four social banks - Unity Trust, Triodos, Charity Bank and the Co-operative - could collaborate in helping to establish a market for investors to buy and sell shares in social enterprises.

Triodos set up its own ethical exchange last summer, but so far only three companies have been listed on it - Cafe Direct, the Ethical Property Company and Golden Land Housing.

Dickman said that the main purpose of a larger ethical exchange would be to enable investors in social enterprises and co-operatives to disinvest and sell on their shares to new investors. "There will be a role for the social banks in publicising the opportunities for ethical investors should the exchange develop," said Dickman.

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