The Big Society Trust uses the monies it receives to buy “A” shares of Big Society Capital. The “B” shares are purchased by the shareholder banks (Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and HSBC). The Big Society Trust’s investment is currently £380 million (66% of the total capital) with each bank contributing £50 million. Over time, it is expected that the Big Society Trust’s shareholding will grow to £425 million (DCMS announcement in January 2018) and the banks will collectively hold £200 million.
The Big Society Trust and banks can vote at shareholder meetings with votes in proportion to their shareholding. However, the banks have each agreed to cap their voting rights at 5% of the overall voting rights, meaning that the Big Society Trust is entitled to 80% of the total voting rights.
The object of the Big Society Trust, defined in its Articles, is to help promote and develop social investment in the UK, overseeing Big Society Capital to keep it “true to its object” and by being the sole Member of Access – the Foundation for Social Investment.
Download the Articles of Big Society Trust
The Big Society Trust has four Board meetings a year at which the CEO of Big Society Capital and the CEO of Access each presents an update on their organisation’s activities and strategic issues are discussed. The Board of the Big Society Trust is not involved in investment decisions or operational issues concerning either organisation.
The Big Society Trust has high level governance powers, including the ability to amend the Articles of Big Society Capital and Access and also remove their Directors.
Reflecting this remit, the Board of the Big Society Trust represents a balance of social and financial experience and comprises business and social sector leaders and, ex-officio, the CEOs of sector representative bodies, a nominee of the Cabinet Office and the Chairs of Big Society Capital and Access.
The Articles of the Big Society Trust ensure that decisions are made independently of Government.