Sector leaders back Labour social investment amendments to Financial Services Bill

The NCVO and others support proposals from Chris Leslie, shadow financial secretary to the Treasury

Chris Leslie
Chris Leslie

Voluntary sector leaders and social finance experts are supporting proposed amendments to the Financial Services Bill that would require the successor organisation to the Financial Services Authority to support social investment.

Chris Leslie, Labour MP for Nottingham East and shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, has proposed establishing a social investment panel to advise the new Financial Conduct Authority.

Leslie has also tabled an amendment that would require the FCA to carry out its work in a way that promotes the development of social finance.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, has written to Mark Hoban, the Conservative financial secretary to the Treasury, asking him to support the amendments.

Nineteen other voluntary sector leaders and social finance experts have signed the letter in support.

"The amendments pave the way for the growth of the social investment market, which is about to receive a large injection of capital from Big Society Capital," wrote Etherington.

"The amendments are simple and stand-alone, do not cost the taxpayer and do not interfere with any other aspects of the bill.

"At a time of austerity and public funding cuts for charities, the amendments would help to support the role of social investment to finance civil society and would help the UK to develop as a leading international destination for social investment."

The FCA is expected to replace the financial services regulator in 2013.

The bill is at committee stage and is expected to receive royal assent by the end of the year.

List of signatories in support of amendments to the bill

Caron Bradshaw, chief executive, Charity Finance Directors' Group

Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations

Geoff Burnand, chief executive, Investing for Good

Andrew Croft, chief executive, Can Mezzanine

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations

Michele Giddens, co-founder, Bridges Ventures

Sally Goodsell, chief executive, FSE Group

Malcolm Hayday, chief executive, Charity Bank

Peter Holbrook, chief executive, Social Enterprise UK

Ben Hughes, chief executive, Community Development Finance Association

David Hutchison, chief executive, Social Finance

Jonathan Jenkins, chief executive, Social Investment Business

Pradeep Jethi, chief executive, Social Stock Exchange

Nigel Kershaw, chief executive, Big Issue Invest

Stephen Lloyd, senior partner, Bates, Wells & Braithwaite

Nick O’Donohoe, chief executive, Big Society Capital

Rod Schwartz, chief executive, Clearly So

Penny Shepherd, chief executive, UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association

Simon Tucker, chief executive, the Young Foundation

James Vacarro, managing director, Triodos Investment Banking

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