THE Commission on Unclaimed Assets' recent consultation paper 'A Social Investment Bank' could be a shot in the arm for the social sector, says the UK's biggest social lender, Triodos Bank.
The bank's Investment Manager Whitni Thomas believes releasing up to £ 400 million in dormant bank accounts could create an enormous opportunity for social businesses which aim to benefit deprived communities across the country.
She said: "The bank's unclaimed assets could create a fantastic chance to bolster the social sector. But only if they're focused on the early development of the people and enterprises with the drive to regenerate deprived areas."
If the millions of unclaimed assets are targeted in the right way, Triodos Bank believes they could boost the social sector's stars of the future.
Ms Thomas added: "Social enterprises especially those emerging from the charitable sector, need more money but it has to be the right kind."
According to Triodos, there's a clear gap in the market that a new institution could fill. But it has reservations about the proposals in the Commission's consultation paper.
Ms Thomas commented: "Delivering the new support the sector needs will be difficult through a regulated financial institution. Instead, we hope that any new financial initiative will work with established players and enable them to lend and invest in more of the third sector. We need guarantee mechanisms to underwrite loans to social businesses that don't have a track record."