NatWest charity announces switch to sustainable investment policy

13 May 2024 News

By Tinnakorn/Adobe

A charitable funder set up by NatWest has announced it will invest all its financial assets in ways to create social and environmental impact.

Previously, Natwest Social & Community Capital (S&CC) invested its around £6m-worth of residual funds to generate financial returns or held it in cash.

It will now focus on creating a positive impact through sustainable global investments, while targeting an annual financial return of 2% plus inflation.

The charity will continue to commit another around £6m to catalytic social investments in charities and social enterprises, which aims to break even each year.

S&CC, set up and funded in 1999 by NatWest, has appointed Tribe Impact Capital as its investment adviser to guide its new strategy, which it calls a “total impact approach”.

The charity paid out £221,000 in loan finance in 2022, according to its latest accounts, and ended the year with £10.8m in total funds, most of which were held in cash.

S&CC is independent from NatWest but most of its trustees are also employees of the bank, according to the accounts.

‘Pioneering journey’

Victoria Papworth, chief executive of S&CC, said: “We are keen to see the whole of our funds contributing to positive solutions for both the UK and the planet.

“Working with Tribe Impact Capital will help us to generate positive outcomes with those funds which would not otherwise be working for social businesses in the UK.”

S&CC vice chair Ben Smith said: “The last few years have proven how vital the work of charities and social enterprises is.

“At NatWest Social & Community Capital we want to ensure that all our balance sheet – not just a small proportion which is assigned to catalytic social investments – reflects the world we want to see.”

A spokesperson for Tribe Impact Capital said: “We are excited to be working with NatWest Social & Community Capital as they embark on this pioneering journey.

“We are confident that we can support the charity in creating demonstrable social and environmental impact through the way it invests its balance sheet, alongside a financial return consistent with its target.”

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