Fundaciones y bancos buenos; el Big Society Bank


La Big Society del nuevo Gobierno de Gran Bretaña, ha creado el Big Society Bank destinado a financiar proyectos de organizaciones no lucrativas.  En este post que me permito reproducir, Debra Allcock Tyle, Directora Directory of Social Change imagina una conversación entre el gestor de cuentas del Big Soceity Bank y una organización de infancia. 

Hay que leerlo y además practicamos un poco el inglés, que falta nos hace. 

Listen in on this light-hearted sketch about a small charity in conversation with a Big Society Bank clerk, regarding their application for an unrestricted grant…

A man walks into a bank…

Bank clerk (chirpily): Welcome to the Big Society Bank sir, what can I do you for today?
Small charity (hopefully): I’ve come for my unrestricted grant.
Bank clerk: I’m sorry sir, I don’t follow you.  What’s a grant?  And what’s unrestricted?
Small charity: You are the Big Society Bank aren’t you?
Bank clerk:  Yes sir.
Small charity: Well, I’ve been told you’ll give me money for my charity so that we can help people.
Bank clerk:  Have you?  Erm….ok. Well, we do have some money but we won’t give it to you, we’ll give it to another bank who might lend it to you.
Small charity (looking bemused): Eh? Another bank might lend it to me?  Do you mean I’ve got to pay it back?
Bank clerk (patronisingly): Well, yes, if you borrow money you have to pay it back, unless of course you’ve borrowed it from the taxpayer …but that’s a different matter…
Small charity (puzzled): But I don’t want to borrow money – our charity’s been going for 60 years without getting into debt, by raising money from people who just want to help.  I was under the impression that that’s what the Big Society Bank would do.
Bank clerk (laughing disbelievingly):  Where did you get that idea from?
Small charity: Well, erm…the Government?
Bank clerk (mockingly): And you believed them…..?!
Small charity: Well, yes.  They said the banks would put up the money for this – you know, as part of this Project Marlin or Melon or something like that…
Bank clerk: Do you not read the newspapers?!  The banks haven’t got any money!  They’ve been borrowing from the taxpayer for years.
Small charity:  Look, all I want is £27,500 to pay for my part time volunteer services manager for the next 2 years , so that we can keep providing counselling services to children whose parents have died.
Bank clerk: £27,500 for a volunteer?  I thought they weren’t paid?
Small charity (patiently):  Volunteers aren’t paid, but we do have to pay people to recruit, train and manage them…anyhow, if you won’t give me £27,500 how much will you lend me?
Bank clerk (impatiently):  I’ve already told you we can’t lend you anything.  You’ll have to approach one of the banks who we’ve given the money to.  And based on current commercial banking rates if they lend you the full £27,500, at an APR of 8.9% over 5 years, you’ll repay around £42,118.
Small charity (squeaking!):  What?!  That’s daylight robbery!
Bank clerk: No it’s not.  As I said, it’s only based on normal commercial banking rates.  It’s part of the government’s deal with the banks.  Otherwise no one makes any profit.
Small charity:  But I’m a charity!  I’m not using this money to make a profit…I’m trying to help children to be happy.
Bank clerk:  Ah….very laudable sir.  But the bank isn’t interested in helping children to be happy – [goes into drone-mode] our… mission… is… to… lead… a… step-change… in… the… provision… of… finance… for… sustainable… enterprising… civil… society… organisations…
Small charity (increasingly irked):  What?!  I don’t understand what that means for goodness sake. All I want to do is help bereaved children.  And I’m supposed to convince my donors that some of the money I raise from them will actually be used to pay interest on a loan?!
Bank clerk:  Erm, well, yes.  What’s the problem?
Small charity:  That’s outrageous….don’t you see I’m desperate, otherwise we’ll have to close down because my local authority has given my funding to Crapita.  What are my chances of getting a loan from one of these banks you’re giving money to then?
Bank clerk (sighing):  I don’t know sir.  Let me have a look at your latest annual report and accounts so I can establish whether or not they’re likely to think you’re an acceptable risk.

Pause while bank clerk reads Trustees’ Annual Report.

Bank Clerk:  Ah.  I’m so sorry sir.  I’m afraid you are highly unlikely to be eligible for a loan.
Small charity:  What? Why not?
Bank clerk (exasperated): Seriously sir, do you really not read the papers.  Banks don’t lend to sub-prime any more.

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