Published: 13:00, 04 August 2014
An ethical bank is seeking to double the number of charities it helps in Kent and the South East offering loan amounts of up to £2.5 million.
Following a Big Society Capital investment earlier in the year, Tonbridge-based Charity Bank currently lends to around 50 organisations across the South East England but now hopes to increase this number.
This rise in lending comes following an approval of £11m of loans from January to June this year, compared with £6m in the same period in 2013, an increase of 83%.
Charity Bank is also providing free consultations to help potential borrowers in the region explore all the finance options open to them.
Founded in 2002, the bank provides loans and support to help charities and other social sector organisations access the finance they need, on terms they can afford.
Local borrowers include Voluntary Action Within Kent in Tunbridge Wells, which not only runs a diverse range of projects supporting children and young people with disabilities, young carers, youth volunteering, older people and those who are socially isolated across Kent, but also provides advice and support for voluntary and community organisations in the county.
An organisation can receive a loan from anywhere between £50,000 to £2.5 million with periods of up to 25 years secured.
Carolyn Sims, Charity Bank’s head of banking said, “Charity Bank was established to be a different kind of bank, lending to charities so that they can secure the money they need, when they need it.
“Loan finance can be empowering. It can help charities grow and expand their services, diversify their income streams or make the most of an available opportunity” - Carolyn Sims
“Following Big Society Capital’s investment, we are in a position to lend to more organisations in the region at a time when they are under pressure and really need financial help."
During free consultations, Sims and her team will explore the suitability of loan finance for charities and other social sector organisations.
She added: “Charity Bank exists to help charities and other social sector organisations increase their social impacts, rather than to maximise its own profit. Loans are not the right solution for all organisations, and in those cases we will help them to consider alternative solutions.
“Loan finance can be empowering. It can help charities grow and expand their services, diversify their income streams or make the most of an available opportunity."