So today is social investment day at POPse! No roundtables planned but instead, a series of one-on-one interviews with some of the most informed and critical players in the discussions around the Big Society Bank.
Earlier this week, the latest plans for the Bank emerged and gave us some much needed clarity around how it’s developing. But many questions remained unanswered or strangely, even unasked.
So we’ll be trying to get to grips with some of the practicalities, policy, principles and process which still need a bit of work. Should the Bank be based in London, Luxembourg, Liverpool or Lesotho? When will it make its first investment? Will it really? Really? What will the mandate to support opportunities for young people mean in practice? What if you build it and they don’t come? Should the big banks’ capital be senior to the unclaimed assets in the event of liquidation? How will social purpose and impact be ensured? Who will be eligible for investments? If it operates commercially, then why is state aid still an issue? Why do Sir Ronald Cohen and Francis Maude use the same font size and type? Will Jonathan Jenkins and Joe Ludlow launch a rival bid to run the Bank? How do we vote #yestoJJ? How transparent is transparent?
We hope our expert interviewees will help with these questions so we can bring their views together and pass them on to inform the next phase of the Bank’s development.
But too often perhaps, big decisions are made behind closed doors and people don’t feel they had a chance to make their voices heard. So we also want your views to feed into our work and back to those who call the shots. Please weigh in!