Place Category: Finance & legal
- Website & Social
- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
Charity Bank – a bank for good
Charity Bank is an ethical savings and loans bank with a mission to use money for good. We’re entirely owned by charitable foundations, trusts and social purpose organisations and staff do not receive discretionary bonuses.
When savers deposit with us, we lend their money to charities and social enterprises. Since 2002, we have used the money saved with us to provide over £185 million of loan finance to support organisations working to create lasting social change in communities across the UK.
Charity Bank is the only bank in the UK with the Social Enterprise Mark, reflecting our social sector ownership and social purpose. It also recognises that the money saved with us, invested in us and generated through our loan interest charges is put back into supporting the social sector.
With us savings become part of a social mission: Our loans might be used to build affordable homes, launch community projects or support disadvantaged young people.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated February 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
Charity Bank is a savings and loans bank with a mission to use money for good. We use the money our savers entrust to us to make loans to charities and social enterprises.
Our community of borrowers, savers, shareholders and staff are all working towards one goal – helping to create lasting social change in our communities.
What drives us isn’t profits, but a shared idea about the world we want to live in. We were founded to support charities with loans that they couldn’t find elsewhere and to show people how their savings could be invested ethically and in ways that would make them happy.
We take the time to understand the organisations we lend to, we put peoples' money where their values are and together we work to create lasting social change in our communities.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
We have continued to grow our loan book, supporting more organisations. We also continue to provide a range of depositor accounts enabling organisations, businesses and individuals to save ethically.
Our banking team have a wide knowledge of the sector and offer support and guidance to organisations on loan finance. If a loan isn’t the right option for an organisation, we will point them in the right direction.
Our aim is not just to lend money, but to be an expert in the sector, building a relationship with our borrowers and supporting these organisations at every stage of the loan journey and beyond.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
More social purpose organisations across the UK have been able to expand, save costs and/or improve services as a result of our loans.
Organisations, businesses and individuals continue to save with an ethical bank, knowing that their money is being used only to support social purpose organisations throughout the UK.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
For every borrower, we report on the planned benefits to both the borrower and its beneficiaries as a direct result of our loan. We carry out an annual review every year on our borrowers, and will mark whether these benefits are on track/have been achieved or not. We report on this internally and send this data to our shareholder BSC.
We also carry out a borrower survey every other year to gain feedback on our service. We compare these results with previous years’ surveys to see whether we are responding to feedback and to see the benefits our loans have had and where we can improve. We share the results of this survey internally and externally.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
We continue to lend across the UK. The regional spread of lending broadly reflects the spread of our target market and of the location of charities across the UK. We have matched our resource allocation to the demand.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
See our portfolio report to find case studies of the organisations we have lent to.
7) What other social benefits have you contributed that go beyond your core delivery activities (ones that are completely unrelated to your main services)?
8) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
We recycle and opt for ethical/sustainable options when making purchases.