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Welcome to SCRT's February 2017 bulletin focusing on social finance; social investment and social banking.  SCRT aims to harness the collective financial reserves of the third sector community and use it to provide social investment that is relevant, appropriate and in tune with the needs of the community. JOIN US...If you are interested in our work then why not join our 150+ members and take out SCRT free membership or associate membership. 

In the last month ethical banking options in Scotland have narrowed dramatically. Airdrie Savings Bank(ASB) has announced it is closing whilst the Co-operative Bank has been put up for sale.  The issue for ASB was the very onerous regulation that has been put in place since the 2008 financial crisis. This makes it very difficult for smaller, newer and banks with a different approach e.g. social banks to challenge the high street banks.  So this month's bulletin highlights news stories about Scottish financial institutions that are doing well and that offer alternative options to mainstream finance for third sector organisations and their personnel who want to bank with institutions that are more aligned to the values of the sector.

Scottish Friendly 2016 success
Scottish Friendly has just announced that 2016 was a record breaking year for the organisation. Offering a range of savings and insurance products, Scottish Friendly is Scotland's largest mutual society and one of the largest in the UK. Established in Glasgow over 150 years ago (it is still based there), it has assets worth more than £2.6 billion and have over 500,000 members.  
As a mutual organisation Scottish Friendly is owned and run for the benefit of its members and unlike a PLC, it has no external shareholders so pays no dividends and does not seek to make large profits or capital growth.Find out about Scottish Friendly

Scotcash extends its services to Edinburgh
Scotcash has just announced that a grant of £300k from Virgin Money Foundation will allow it to expand and offer its services to people in Edinburgh. Scotcash is a social enterprise CIC that opened in Glasgow in 2007 offering a range of services including loans, savings accounts, basic bank accounts and white goods packages.
Scotcash is an ethical alternative to very costly home credit, payday lenders and rent-to-own retailers. It does not distribute profits to shareholders or owners and any profits go straight back into the business to enable the organisation to continue providing valuable help and services.Find out about Scotcash 

 The Industry in 2016 report
Responsible Finance is the membership body for UK based Community Development Finance Institutions(CDFIs). It has now published its 2016 report offering an overview of the key activities and outcomes of its members. Headline figures include £116 million of loans to social enterprises which in turn created or retained 5,600 jobs. The average loan size for social enterprises borrowing was £78,500. £103 million was lent to 9,200 micro businesses resulting in the creation of 9,600 new businesses and generating or retaining 14,900 jobs. Overall £242 million was lend to 47,500 customers by CDFIs across the UK.
CDFIs are social enterprises that provide finance to customers who are under-served by mainstream banks...Read the Report Here 

2016 good year for Scottish Building Society
Another mutual society that had a good year is the Scottish Building Society.
When it was established in Edinburgh in 1848, it was Scotland's first ever Building Society. It is the only independent building society based in Scotland and, following various mergers between other societies elsewhere, can also lay claim to the title of oldest remaining building society in the world.
As a mutual building society, the Scottish Building Society strives to remain true to the founding ideals of thrift, careful money-management and promotion of home ownership inherent in the building society tradition.Find out about Scottish Building Society

Triodos announces new personal current account
Triodos has had a very successful 2016. It increased its UK lending to nearly £90 million. Based in Bristol Triodos has recently announced that it will launch a new UK personal current account in April. With uncertainly around the future of the co-operative bank, it is good to know that there is an ethical alternative for personal current accounts.
Triodos is a 'Social Bank'.  It was established in the Nederlands in 1980 and from the outset its focus was on making money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change..Find out more about Triodos

Copyright © 2017 Scottish Community Re-Investment Trust, All rights reserved.

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