13 October 2009

Stevenson Raises Charity-Funding Concerns with Lloyds TSB

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson today spoke of his “dismay” at the announcement that the Lloyds TSB Foundation Scotland is to suspend its grant aid to charities for the foreseeable future. Mr Stevenson has written to the Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland, Susan Rice, to call for urgent talks to establish a way forward.

The Foundation, which is completely independent of the bank and has supported numerous charities and voluntary groups in Banff & Buchan, has made the decision as no agreement has been reached with Lloyds Banking Group on how the Trust would operate until the Group returns to profit.

The Foundation has, however, indicated that projects to which they have already committed will continue to receive funding.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I am dismayed that the Lloyds TSB Foundation has had to take the step of suspending its grant aid activities. It is a major source of charitable funding in Scotland and has contributed substantial sums of money to good causes in Banff & Buchan over the years.

“I understand that the Foundation has not been able to reach an agreement with Lloyds Banking Group over the way in which the Foundation will be funded until the Group itself returns to profit-making status.

“The heart of the matter seems to be that, while Lloyds Banking Group has indicated its willingness to continue funding the Foundation, it also proposes to remove the Foundation’s independent status as a condition of continuing support. The Foundation, quite understandably, has refused those terms.

“I find it difficult to believe that, at a time when the public reputation of the banking sector is at an all-time low, Lloyds has sought this sort of renegotiation. It certainly doesn’t do anything to improve people’s opinions of bankers.

“The bottom line though is that there are many charities in this region which have been supported by the Foundation in previous years and some who will have been looking forward to receiving Foundation funding next year. This is bad news for them and why I have written to Susan Rice to ask her to raise the matter with her colleagues on the Board of Lloyds Banking Group as a matter of urgency.”

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