We have received a number of queries about Re-Give, the mutual society we list within our savings account comparison tables. Because I'm sure many of you want to find out more about them we've put your questions to Re-Give. Here's what they replied:
Although we have been an FSA registered entity since December 2011 - as an operational service with an experienced team, we have been doing this for many years as the social investment arm of a non-profit organisation (a former UK registered charity called REDAID) - very successfully and without any problems at all with any investors or partners.
The reason people have not heard about us or cannot find any trading history is simply because we were a division of this organisation and did not have a specific independent identity or brand name. However, we are now a new independent, stand-alone FSA registered organisation with a specific brand name.
The non-profit organisation recently came to the end of its project cycle, and as it didn't need to remain a registered charity, it de-registered from the Charity Commission and was removed on its own request from the public register of charities.
The fact that we are not under the FSCS does not mean that investments are at greater operational risk.
On the contrary, because we are not under the FSCS it means that we are exceptionally careful, extra vigilant and especially prudent when looking after the funds under our management. Therefore, please be assured that there is clear protection for investor's if anything goes wrong with us.
Our investor protection mechanism is comparable to the FSCS and in some areas, surpasses it (e.g. we don't limit the protection to £85,000 but to the whole value of the investment regardless of size).
How we provide protection:
We operate under a stewardship structure which ensures several things, the most important of which are that:
The investors’ money is held in a protected environment, so that even if we were to become insolvent the funds can be fully recovered rapidly by our administrators and repaid back to the investors in full – and in some instances, also along with any accrued returns
The types of ethical projects we invest in:
We do not exclusively invest off-shore; we work both within and outside Britain.
Our ethical investment remit is to enable commercially and financially viable social enterprises, businesses, projects and programmes that generate outstanding net positive social and environmental impact – to launch, develop and prosper, thereby creating and sustaining jobs, improving local communities, providing essential services, etc. As examples:
We are working with a number of major partners to provide essential financial and operational support to social enterprises that help low skilled, unemployed people to gain high-level employable skills (one way we generate revenues from these investments is by providing professional services to the social enterprises alongside funding).
We are working on a major solar project in a sunshine rich developing country (we can’t say which country it is until the agreements are finalised) that has the potential to permanently and positively transform the lives of millions of people who have no power, thus have (at the moment) an extremely low quality of life. We will be making public announcements and presentations about this in due course.
Our most revolutionary service is that of the Social Bond (details are on our website). We believe that this can not only unlock billions of pounds for social impact projects across Britain and the world, but that it has the potential to make serious inroads into normal SME business funding and personal finance markets.
By reading about the projects above it may seem that we are taking speculative investment risks with our investors’ money - this is not the case, as investor’s money is not used for active investment activities but play a different, a more secured part in our operational equation.
The reason why our list of directors and accounts are not available on Companies House is because we are not a private limited company registered under Companies House, but are incorporated under the FSA.
As an FSA registered organisation, we submit our accounts directly to the FSA itself but - unlike the Charity Commission or Companies House - the FSA does not make this public. However, we will soon be publishing our accounts (which will have details of our board) on our website for public access.
Our current (temporary) registered address at a residential property – many organisations use this address for registering purposes because a person who does the legal work relating to FSA registrations has his office within the premises.
When we became an independent entity we naturally wanted to keep our costs very low and didn’t want to use offices linked to our former parent organisation. Therefore, as this address was already being used for registering proposes by a number of other organisations and as our legal work was being carried out by a person who is based at this address (on a pro-bono basis) we decided to use this address as our temporary registered address for expediency and to save costs.
However, this does not mean that we as an organisation operate from there.
We have a large number of people working from different locations and we are moving our registered address to a new operational HQ in the centre of Chelmsford later this month.
The public will have full access to our operational HQ, they will be able to visit us during office hours to meet and discuss anything with us. However, we are not publishing our new HQ address on our website until we complete the move.
Everything about Re-Give looks wrong - from Its previous incarnation as a charity, which is under investigation by the charity commission, to its registered office being
a 1980's terraced house in Essex - The bottom line is that your money is totally unprotected and anybody risking their hard earned savings for an extra 1.5% cannot complain if their money disappears into thin air, as they have been warned
hi Hannah , many thanks for the above info , really interesting . Is there a chance of something similar for ' Bank on Dave ' as seen on Channel 4 last evening ? I missed the first in the series , and only got about half of last evenings program , but feel that it could be a real alternative ( as is the above ) to current main stream banks - thanks .