Today marks the launch of Retail Charity Bonds, an issuing platform to enable charities to raise medium term debt through bonds listed on London Stock Exchange. The first bond issue is currently in development and is expected to be announced shortly.

Retail Charity Bonds is designed to enable established UK charities with strong credit worth to raise capital market debt funding from retail and wholesale investors. The platform will provide charities with access to the market demand for fixed-income retail bonds at an affordable cost, opening up a new dimension of borrowing and a lighter alternative to bank debt.

Charities raising finance through the platform will use the loans to further their charitable activities and generate income. They may typically acquire capital assets, invest in facilities or finance their existing assets more efficiently.

For investors, the Retail Charity Bonds platform will provide new social investment opportunities, offering market-related returns while supporting charities in creating social benefit. The bonds are expected to be admitted to trading on London Stock Exchange’s Order book for Retail Bonds with the aim of creating a new transparent and liquid market for retail investors looking for investments with positive social impact, and giving the ability to hold the investment in an ISA or SIPP.

The bonds will be issued by a special purpose vehicle, Retail Charity Bonds plc, which is governed by an independent and experienced board of non-executive directors from the financial and charity sectors who are acting on a pro-bono basis.

Retail Charity Bonds is an initiative of Allia, a charitable community benefit society, and has been established in association with Canaccord Genuity Limited. The platform is supported by a range of patrons, including Allen & Overy, Bank of New York Mellon, Bell Pottinger, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Big Society Capital, Ecclesiastical Investment Management, Linklaters, London Stock Exchange, Prudential Trustee Company Limited, Rathbones and Threadneedle Investments.

The scheme is also supported by the Cabinet Office. Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:

“The launch of Retail Charity Bonds is an important step for the sector, creating even more social investment opportunities while giving charities an additional source of funding to help them plan for the future. I hope investors and organisations take advantage of this opportunity to help strengthen the sector as a whole and support even more people in our society.”

Tim Jones, Chief Executive of Allia, said:

“We are delighted to launch Retail Charity Bonds to provide charities with a new source of funding to deliver their mission. The platform is a major step forward in offering investors opportunities that both provide a financial return and create tangible social benefit.”

John Tattersall, Chairman of Retail Charity Bonds plc, commented:

“It is an honour to have been invited to chair this new bond issuing vehicle. I am very grateful to my fellow board members who are freely giving their time and bringing their expertise to oversee this very worthy initiative.”

Adrian Bell, Canaccord Genuity added:

“The bonds issued by Retail Charity Bonds will create a new transparent and liquid market for social investments. It also offers charities the opportunity to access market demand for retail bonds at affordable cost, and engage with a new audience of investors.”

Click to download a factsheet containing more information on Retail Charity Bonds.

For more information please contact:

Bell Pottinger
Victoria Geoghegan / Elizabeth Snow / Charles Stewart
0207 861 3925

This is a financial promotion made by Retail Charity Bonds Plc and approved by Canaccord Genuity Limited solely for the purposes of section 21(2)(b) of the FSMA. Canaccord Genuity Limited (No. 01774003) whose registered office is 88 Wood Street, London EC2V 7QR is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority (Firm Ref Number 182011). Canaccord Genuity Limited do not provide legal, tax, accounting or investment advice in relation to the bonds and are not responsible for any advice you may receive from any third party.

Notes to Editors

About Allia

Allia is a charity that supports social ventures – organisations that are dedicated to making a positive social impact. It provides business support, work space and finance solutions to help social ventures start up, grow and create social benefit.

Allia created one of the first ever social investment products in 1999, allowing retail investors to support the development of social housing and donate interest upfront to charity. It also now runs a programme of enterprise support for social ventures in the East of England which includes business advice and incubation space.

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Charities interested in raising loan finance through the Retail Charity Bonds platform should contact Allia to find out more.

About Canaccord Genuity Limited

Canaccord Genuity is the global capital markets division of the Canaccord Genuity group, and provides timely, actionable ideas to corporate and institutional clients around the world.

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