Charity Bank Reinvests Majority of £7.8m Surplus to Support Underfunded Charities

Jun 12, 2024

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Charity Bank, the loans and savings bank for social good, has released its annual accounts for 2023. The bank reported a net surplus of £7.8m, the majority of which will be reinvested to expand its support to underfunded charities and social enterprises.

With social sector organisations facing challenging economic conditions, including high interest rates, escalating operating costs, and an unsupportive funding environment, Charity Bank has continued to grow its lending and deepened its impact.

In 2023, the bank made over £50 million in new loans to UK charities and social enterprises and developed several innovative funding programmes to support its strategic goals of delivering positive social impact in the UK and responding to the needs of its customers

  • Lending Equal Access Programme (LEAP): This programme offered unsecured blended finance loans to smaller organisations that have historically struggled to access finance. This includes diverse-led charities and social enterprises that have been excluded from both mainstream and social investment.
  • Energy Efficiency Financing Product: In response to climate change and rising energy prices, this specialised product includes a grant subsidy for energy savings assessments.
  • Cost-of-Living Programme: This programme offers a blend of grants and loans to support borrowers implementing initiatives to help communities impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. It was fully committed within four months.

The grant element of these blended finance products is provided by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment. In addition to these programmes, Charity Bank is using a portion of its own surplus to establish a ‘Development Fund’ to provide further funding to organisations and projects where the gap in the provision of finance is greatest. The Development Fund will be a dedicated source of grant funding designed to support impactful organisations and projects that the bank cannot support with its existing suite of repayable loan products.

Charity Bank also announced that, having demonstrated a sustained record of annual surpluses, it will issue its first-ever dividend payment. The bank’s shareholders, who are exclusively charitable foundations and social purpose investors, will benefit from these dividend payments, further benefiting the wider social sector.

CEO’s Statement:

Edward Siegel, CEO of Charity Bank, expressed his satisfaction with the progress made in 2023. "Charity Bank has consistently stepped in to fill funding gaps during hard economic times, notably in the last recession, during the recent pandemic and now during the cost-of-living crisis when many traditional lenders reduced their support.

“In 2023 we not only extended our lending to charities and social enterprises in need of repayable finance, but we also developed our offering to reach organisations and communities that have historically been underserved and underfunded, and prioritised those organisations that are serving the most vulnerable. Our blended finance programmes and the establishment of the Development Fund are key elements of this strategy and will enable us to extend our commitment to supporting the social sector.”

2023 Highlights from Charity Bank’s Impact Strategy Including New Lending:

  • Customer Satisfaction: Net Promoter Score of 83 among organisations with new loans, positioning Charity Bank in the top 5% for customer satisfaction compared to published data from high street banks.
  • Diversity: 21 loan approvals to organisations with boards led by diverse individuals.
  • Complex Housing Needs: 65% of approved housing loans provided additional support alongside housing characterised by ‘the provision of support, supervision, or care aimed at fostering independent living’.
  • Locality: 67% of loan approvals for organisations supporting the 50% most deprived communities in the UK.
  • Depth of Impact: 61% of approved loans for organisations primarily serving vulnerable groups.