Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 5516

Local authority banking and financial services procurement, and the Public Service

Request

Move Your Money UK (MYM) are campaigning for a more ethical, diversified, and egalitarian UK financial services sector that manages and invests funds in the broader public interest.

Launching in February 2012 – 500,000 + individuals have since moved individual bank accounts away from the scandal plagued high-street banks, to local, mutual, and ethical alternatives.

In 2013, MYM is researching and campaigning on institutional and local authority banking matters, and are collecting data on the financial services landscape for UK councils.

Move Your Money intend to work with local authorities, banks and alternative lenders to ensure that the interests of the general public and local government are closely aligned, and that tax payer funding is being used effectively to extract maximum social value from procurement (Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012), ensuring re-investment of profit within local communities, which are increasingly suffering austerity and funding cuts as a direct result of the financial crisis.

The information provided will be used to map the financial services landscape for local authorities, and to undertake a gap analysis to determine potential areas of improvement for specialised local authority banking services.

Based on this information, MYM will be developing an ethical banking toolkit for local authorities to further inform ethical financial procurement matters, and provide guidance on extracting local socio-economic value from financial services procurement.

FOI Questions

· For the complete suite of council financial services (transactional banking and investment), which *provider(s) does the Council currently use, and how many individual accounts are held with each listed financial services provider? (2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years).

· How frequently are the various financial services procured, and when is the existing arrangement due to end (month/ year) - for each listed provider?

· What was the average balance(s)/ cap on investment(s); of accounts held with each listed provider as at last audit? (for transactional & investment banking).

· Please provide the specific procurement criteria and weighting that the council uses to assesses and procures financial services.

· Detail if, and how, the procurement criteria, weighting, and assessment process has been reviewed and modified, to give effect to Best Value Guidance and the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to maximize public socio-economic value via procurement.



*Please include relevant data for credit unions, building societies, local, mutual, ethical & high street retail/ investment banks, treasury management services, as well as funds with Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lenders.


Response

The answers I can provide are as follows:

• For transactional Banking the Council uses the Co-operative Bank - we have three income accounts, one payments account & one investment account. We also have three Santander Giro Income accounts. For Investments we have accounts with Santander, Bank of Scotland & Royal Bank of Scotland.

• The Co-op Bank contract has recently been renewed for a further 5 years. The investment accounts are not on contracts and are open indefinitely.

• The balance on our investments accounts as at 30/03/12 were as follows:

RBS Deposit Account £2m
Bank of Scotland Deposit Account £400,000
(Bank of Scotland Fixed Deposit £1m – this may not be applicable to the FOI)
Co-op Accounts Balance Summary £363,000
Santander Balance Summary £570.00

• The weighting used is different for each procurement activity and is decided with the relevant Contract Manager.

• BBC have signed up to Public Services (Social Value) Act toolkit with the PAE which will be incorporated into the Council’s tender documents, currently under review.