MP gives weight to Social Investment Bank proposal

A member of the Treasury select committee on unclaimed assets has publicly backed the proposal for a Social Investment Bank to bolster third sector finance.

Speaking at a House of Commons reception to mark the fifth anniversary of the Community Development Finance Association, Labour MP for Edmonton Andy Love said he considered the Social Investment Bank to be an “eminently good idea”. While Love stressed that he didn’t want to “pre-empt the Committee’s findings”, he simultaneously endorsed the scheme.

Love’s comments followed a speech by the the Community Development Finance Association’s president Sir Ronald Cohen, who is also chair of the Commission on Unclaimed Assets, the body which has masterminded the Social Investment Bank initiative.

Cohen, who is a close ally of Gordon Brown, warned that if the flow of capital to the third sector was constrained, this would be a “significant obstacle” to the development of Community Development Finance Institutions.

The Commission’s proposal is to channel £250m of money in dormant accounts into a fund to provide grant and loan finance for charities and social enterprises.

Meanwhile, the Treasury’s select committee on the unclaimed assets issue is now closed for submissions of written evidence, and is due to schedule dates for oral evidence later in the Spring. The committee aims to produce a report before Parliament rises for the summer recess.

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