News & Thoughts

MARKET UPDATE: Cabinet Office tell us how Brexit will impact social investment

What are some of the key figures in the social investment market saying about the unexpected result of the EU referendum?

“the EU Referendum did demonstrate that big questions, built up over many decades, are present in our country….The divides that the referendum has revealed make a strong civil society even more important. We all have a part to play in knitting the country back together….Now, more than ever, people facing the most challenging problems need a government relentlessly focused on improving their lives.”                             Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society

“…for us at Big Society Capital, we need to plan out how the economic and financial volatility, and the political changes, may impact on social investment, both bigger scale issues like currencies and inflation, and more immediate issues of uncertainty. We’ll be following up on this and sharing thoughts with colleagues from other organisations. For all of us in the social sector, the question is what we can do: to help heal divides, tackle poverty, meet needs, find solutions.” Cliff Prior, CEO of Big Society Capital

“There is no blueprint for Brexit. No country has ever left the EU, so we have no real idea just how bumpy a ride the economy is in for…But we do know that when we polled social enterprise leaders earlier this year whether they thought leaving the EU would place their business at risk, nearly 60% said it would not – even though nearly 75% planned to vote to remain in the EU. This is reassuring but not in the least bit surprising – social entrepreneurs are nothing if not adaptable and I have faith that most leaders of social enterprises will see whatever lies ahead as a challenge rather than a threat.” Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK 

“Much financial regulation currently applicable in the UK derives from EU legislation. This regulation will remain applicable until any changes are made, which will be a matter for Government and Parliament….The longer term impacts of the decision to leave the EU on the overall regulatory framework for the UK will depend, in part, on the relationship that the UK seeks with the EU in the future. We will work closely with the Government as it confirms the arrangements for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.” Financial Conduct Authority

“By far the best thing to come out of the referendum has been a recognition that inattentiveness towards the economically excluded can have terrible consequences.” Sarah Sands, Evening Standard

A final thought from the founder of Worthstone, Gavin Francis: “Social investment equals positive change; what could be more compelling to an investor than the opportunity to lend their capital to that objective? The financial services sector could be the engine for that change by facilitating investment in the enterprises that could help the most disadvantaged in our communities.”