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Banking: Social Investment Wholesale Bank

Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

Statement

My right honourable friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Angela E. Smith) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Office of the Third Sector has today published a Social Investment Wholesale Bank consultation which sets out the vision, the economic case and consults on proposals for the design and functions of a potential bank. This consultation was announced in Budget 2009 and will inform substantive proposals to be developed by the Office of the Third Sector.

The Government recognise the important role played by the third sector including social enterprises—as sustainable businesses with a social or environmental mission they contribute significantly to stronger local economies and a fairer society. Yet access to appropriate funding and finance is often the biggest concern facing organisations driven by social or environmental purpose. A social investment wholesale bank could enable third sector organisations to access the finance they need to grow and become more sustainable.

More broadly, the bank could help increase investment in society, the environment and the economy at the same time, delivering against a ‘triple bottom line’ of more effective interaction between greater economic growth, social cohesion and sustainable development.

The Social Investment Wholesale Bank consultation document can be downloaded from the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) website at http://www.cabinetoffice. gov.uk/third_sector.aspx. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of the House.