Charity Bank, the only regulated bank in the UK that is also a registered charity, won the Institute of Financial Services (ifs) Award for Outstanding Innovation at last night’s Financial Innovation Awards. Charity Bank, which provides financial support and guidance to charities, was selected ahead of major high street banks including HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and Barclays. In addition, Charity Bank won the award for Social Responsibility and Community Banking and was shortlisted in three other categories of the awards, including Innovation in Social Enterprise and Inclusion, Excellence in Customer Communication, and Excellence in Risk and Management Control.
‘At a time when the reputation of the financial services sector has been eroded,’ remarked the head of the judging panel, ‘the work of Charity Bank is a timely reminder to all of the immense benefits that financial services can bring not just to our prosperity, but also to individuals, communities and society in general.’ All of the Bank’s depositors’ money is used to support charities and social enterprises. It has lent over £111 million to such organizations. Meantime, winning an industry award in the face of more mainstream competition might well be seen as a sign of a changing mood within the financial services industry.