Thinking Anglicans

Church Commissioners share in purchase of bank

A consortium including the Church Commissioners are the preferred bidders to purchase 314 bank branches from RBS, it was announced today. Details are in this press release from the Commissioners.

Church Commissioners statement on RBS bid

The Church Commissioners for England have today confirmed that as part of a consortium of investors they will be partnering with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to create a leading challenger bank from 314 RBS branches across the UK.

The confirmation follows the decision of the board of RBS to favour the bid of a consortium which includes the Corsair Capital investment fund, Centerbridge Partners and the Commissioners to create a new bank with a focus on ethical standards and servicing the needs of retail and SME customers.

The new bank, to be called Williams and Glyn’s (W&G), will be a vigorous challenger in UK business and retail banking sector with a projected 5% market share of the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) and mid-corporate banking markets, and a 2% share of UK personal current accounts.

Andreas Whittam Smith, first estates commissioner, said:
“The Church Commissioners are excited to have the opportunity to be involved in creating a U.K. challenger bank operating to the highest ethical standards and giving consumers more choice. We are delighted that the Royal Bank of Scotland recognised the strengths of our bid and the consortium’s vision, and have chosen the consortium as their preferred bidder.”
Andrew Brown, Secretary to the Church Commissioners, said:
“This is a great opportunity for the Commissioners to invest in an exciting opportunity for the benefit of the serving and retired clergy, bishops, cathedrals and the wide work of the Church of England throughout the country especially in areas of need and opportunity.”

The Church Commissioners for England are responsible for managing a well-diversified investment portfolio with the aim of producing returns to support the Church of England’s work across the country.

The Church Commissioners manage an investment fund of some £5.5 billion, held mainly in a diversified portfolio including equities, real estate and alternative investment strategies. The Commissioners’ work today supports the Church of England as a Christian presence in every community.

The annual objectives of the Church Commissioners include:

  • A return on investments of RPI +5%
  • Supporting poorer dioceses with ministry costs
  • Providing funds to support mission activities
  • Paying for bishops’ ministry and some cathedral costs
  • Administering the legal framework for pastoral reorganisation and settling the future of closed church buildings
  • Paying clergy pensions for service prior to 1998
  • Running the national payroll for serving and retired clergy

A copy of their annual report for 2012 can be found here.:

RBS says Return of Williams & Glyn’s moves closer.

Press reports include:

James Quinn in The Telegraph RBS sells stake in Project Rainbow branches to Corsair for as much as £800m
Jill Treanor in The Guardian RBS sells 314 branches to church-backed Corsair consortium
BBC News RBS sells 314 bank branches to Corsair consortium
Sky News Church Consortium Wins RBS Branch Sale Race

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Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
10 years ago

Excellent news. Putting their money where their mouth is. Unfortunate then that I have today moved my bank account to the Nationwide because of ongoing concerns about the seemingly ethically compromised future of the Co-op.

Graham Kings
Graham Kings
10 years ago

Should it not be ‘Welby & Glyns’ bank rather than ‘Williams & Glyns’?

Laurence Cunnington
Laurence Cunnington
10 years ago

“Should it not be ‘Welby & Glyns’ bank rather than ‘Williams & Glyns’?” Graham Kings

I’m sending that to Private Eye’s OBN.

Father Ron Smith
10 years ago

Last Sunday’s Gospel has a word that might be considered appropriate in these circumstances:

“And so I tell you this, use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity……..” – Luke 16:9-13

Matt W
Matt W
10 years ago

This is excellent, and a small enough investment not to be an excessive risk.

Good to see the Church Commissioners making a practical difference visible to the wider society.

What do the ethical investment puritans say about banks?

10 years ago

I would say, Fr. Ron, that, as long as you can be absolutely certain *you* are strong enough not to be tainted by the money, that’s just fine.

I’ve just never known any person, community, still less any organization, that isn’t completely overwhelmed by its corrupting ability once it’s given an “in.”

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x