The Community Banking Team at RBS plays an active part in making and supporting the social enterprise market.
Our team understands the unique needs and challenges social enterprises face, and ensure they have access to the advice and guidance they need to develop. Over the past 10 years we have offered financial solutions and support to a wide and diverse range of third sector businesses.
Supporting the social enterprise sector is an integral part of our strategy to support enterprises and help them achieve their ambitions. It’s not just about providing banking products and services. It’s about taking a longer-term view, working with customers and communities to help them become more sustainable.
We work with a range of partners and networks to create opportunities for businesses that have traditionally struggled to access financial services. By helping to unleash the entrepreneurial talent across the UK, we hope to maximise our impact by delivering business expertise in the communities in which we work.
Our long established Community Banking team exists to support enterprises with a social purpose, to promote sustainability and develop the social finance and investment marketplace, working with groups and organisations that are facing challenges accessing finance, starting up and growing their businesses.
These activities help to support the professionalisation of the sector and open up access to financial services for businesses motivated by a social aim. This underlies the RBS Group’s commitment to supporting enterprise, sharing the ambitions of our customers and delivering business expertise.
We support the RBS SE100 Index because, like any other part of the economy, it is important to gather as much market intelligence as possible. This information is invaluable in helping the social enterprise sector to flourish.
We provide a range of banking products for charities and social enterprises. They can benefit from the wide-ranging support provided by our Community Banking team. We also offer more specialist support, delivered through our team of 100+ Community Ambassador Relationship Managers across the UK.
More information about the services provided to social enterprises by RBS is available online.
Case Study - RBS NatWest working with Mendip Community Transport
Back in 2002, the transport needs of people living in the Mendip area of Somerset were met by a small voluntary organisation. While this organisation provided vital services for the inhabitants of many isolated, rural villages, its existence depended upon the generosity of various local donors and funders.
“This meant the organisation was always going to be exposed to the risk of funding cuts, which would have been disastrous for the people who relied on the service,” explains Mike Curtis who became chief executive of Mendip Community Transport (MCT), the organisation set up to take on and expand the service.
So, over the next decade MCT was built into a strong social business. It chose to bank with NatWest, part of the RBS Group, which appointed local relationship manager Paul Gainey.
“Because I live locally, I understood the need for the service they provide and could help them run the organisation as a business,” he said.
Today, rather than relying upon short term funding, MCT has developed a sustainable business model whereby it competes for contracts with public sector organisations, such as health and education bodies. Any surplus from these contracts is reinvested to build the business, which has enabled it to grow a fleet of five minibuses into a fleet of 20, all wheelchair accessible.
Mike says: “We now have a business with strong foundations, enabling us to carry on investing in all the good things that community transport organisations do.”
The RBS Community Banking team has a track record in finding ways to support innovative and often unconventional ideas for enterprises that benefit local communities or tackle disadvantage. They are committed to understanding and sharing customers’ ambitions and delivering expertise that can really help.