Minister lends support to Big Society Bank

10 May 2011

A cabinet minister has lent his backing to a proposal aimed at providing funding for finance charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises.

Francis Maude endorsed the plan for the Big Society Bank, which prime minister David Cameron has promised will be handed £200 million from British banks that were bailed out when the economic crisis began to bite.

Mr Maude said: "It will be the first institution of its kind anywhere in the world dedicated to growing the market for investments that blend financial and social returns."

The initiative has been drawn up by former executive at financial services firm JP Morgan and venture capital pioneer Sir Ronald Cohen - and the scheme now requires Financial Services authorisation, as well as formal state aid approval.

Last week, research carried out by R3 found that an increasing number of businesses in the UK believe banks are being unsupportive with regards to their monetary needs.

By Gary Cooper

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