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Church-backed bid could lead to ethical bank

Posted on: June 28, 2013 11:09 AM
Related Categories: banking, England

[The Independent] The Church of England is backing a bid for hundreds of branches being offloaded by Royal Bank of Scotland, raising the prospect of a new, ethical bank on the high street.

The Church Commissioners, who manage the Church's investments, are helping to fund a consortium led by the former banker and trade minister Lord Davies looking to take control of 315 RBS branches.

With investment decisions by the Church Commissioners taking into account the advice of the Church of England's Ethical Investment Advisory Group, this would suggest consumers will have a new, ethical banking option if the consortium is successful.

That would be a fillip for ethical financial firms following last week's forced bailout of the Co-op Bank.

RBS is selling the branches after being ordered to get rid of them by the European Commission as a consequence of being bailed out by taxpayers. They were due to be sold to Santander, but the £1.65bn deal collapsed last October more than two years after being agreed.

The full article can be read here