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Charity Bank, based in Tonbridge High Street, hopes to attract £190m in savings after receiving a big investment from Big Society Capital

01 April 2014
by James Walker

A Tonbridge bank with a social conscience aims to attract £190m by the end of 2018 after receiving a huge investment.

High Steet based Charity Bank, which lends solely to charitable purposes, will receive up to £14.5m from Big Society Capital, an initiative that aims to finance social sector organisations, over the next two years.

It is hoped this investment will enable it to loan more money to charitable causes.

It is hoped the investment will draw more savers to the bank. Picture Thinkstock

It is hoped the investment will draw more savers to the bank. Picture: Thinkstock

At present Charity Bank lends around £55m to charitable causes but has ambitions to increase this to £250m by December 2018.

To reach this goal more deposits from personal savers is needed.

Patrick Crawford, chief executive of Charity Bank, said: “As the demand for loans increases, the need for more deposits will also increase. 

“We are looking to attract around another £90 million in deposits from savers by the end of 2016 and another £100 million over the following two years.

“We are aiming to become the UK’s most admired bank and help our borrowers achieve greater positive social impacts by using the deposits of our socially-conscious savers who want a good social return on their investments as well as a financial one.”

Patrick Crawford, chief executive of the Charity Bank

Patrick Crawford, chief executive of the Charity Bank

According to research published by the Bank in September last year charities are finding it difficult to achieve affordable finance from high street banks.

It polled 258 charity workers across the UK and found that almost two thirds of them believed charities would benefit from loans.

Despite this less than a third of those who approached high street banks ended up taking one.

Just under 30% had their application turned down and 40% were offered a loan but did not take it up because it was too expensive or the conditions too onerous.

Nick O’Donohoe, Big Society Capital’s Chief Executive, says: “For over ten years, Charity Bank has played a crucial role in ensuring charities and social enterprises can access the finance they need to tackle some of the toughest problems in the UK.

“As a financial institution, Charity Bank is unique in its focus on lending to good causes, and its clear social mission that runs through all of its activities.

“It is now poised to become a strong, meaningful force in UK ethical banking.”

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