The UK’s new social investment bank, the so-called Big Society Bank, will transform the lives of millions of people, believes venture capitalist Sir Ronald Cohen, who has been appointed adviser to the new bank, along with Nick O’Donohoe of J P Morgan. ‘This is the first move of this kind anywhere in the world,’ said Sir Ronald, a longstanding champion of such an institution, adding that it is ‘the boldest move that we are likely to see for some time’.
This ringing endorsement is likely to be greeted with relief in UK government circles, whose Big Society agenda has been under almost relentless fire since its introduction – especially as it comes from a former Labour donor. According to Cohen, at least £400 million of funds in dormant accounts will fund the Big Society Bank. A further £200 million of permanent capital will come from commercial banks.