ABN Amro to back impact bond issuer

Dutch bank ABN Amro is backing an issuer of social impact bonds, which is part of a global impact finance network

ABN Amro has announced it is backing an organisation that issues social impact bonds on the Dutch financial market, together with charity Oranjefonds.

The Dutch bank is to offer support to Social Finance NL, an organisation financing entrepreneurs running businesses that address social problems and inequalities in society.

Social Finance NL is part of the international Social Finance network, which includes Social Finance UK. The UK arm was responsible for the first ever social impact bond in 2010. There are now similar organisations in the US, Israel and India.

In a statement, announcing the deal, Richard Kooloos, head of Sustainable Banking at ABN Amro, said he is encouraged to see the public and private sectors working together to solve issues in society.

“I’m proud of the way the public and private sectors are working together here to improve the way we address social ills,” he said in a statement.

“ABN Amro issued the first social impact bond in the Netherlands, and as a founding partner of Social Finance NL, we are eager to do our share to scale up this approach.”

One of the founders of Social Finance NL, Ruben Koekoek has notable experience in the world of social impact bonds, having previously worked in issuances for ABN Amro.

The Dutch organisation will act as a third party to connect local authorities with investors and social entrepreneurs, and by offering new financing tools for projects, such as social impact bonds.

The organisation is already working with a local government in the Noord-Brabant province of the Netherlands, where it has established a fund with the authority to assist local social enterprises to scale up.