NatWest Group today published its Social Bond Interim Impact Report, providing a first look at the impacts of its inaugural social bond.
The Group estimates that ~6,900 full-time jobs have been created through the amount of lending equivalent to the bond proceeds, in some of the most deprived parts of the UK, supporting more than 2,750 SMEs in 96 industry sectors, with one quarter of the estimated jobs being created in the health and social work sectors.
The net proceeds of the social bond have been used exclusively to finance and/or refinance new or existing SME lending, according to the Eligibility Criteria for Social Loans as described in NatWest Group’s GSS Bond Framework. Since issuance, the full proceeds have been allocated to NatWest Group loans of an average £280,000 loan size to more than 2,750 SMEs across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Regions with the highest number of jobs created are North East of England (~1,600 jobs), London (which includes Greater London) (~1,000 jobs) and West Midlands (~1,000 jobs). Industry sectors with the highest number of jobs created are Health & Social Work (~1,800), Wholesale and Retail (~1,200) and Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (~1,200).
NatWest Group Chief Executive, Alison Rose, commented: “Our inaugural social bond is a clear demonstration of our purpose in action. It shows how we have supported businesses to create jobs in some of the most deprived parts of the UK, across a range of sectors.
“NatWest Group is the largest supporter of UK businesses. This social bond demonstrates the positive impact we can have in helping to address regional inequality by championing the potential of the customers and communities we serve so they can recover, rebuild and, ultimately, thrive.”