CIPR corporate and financial group annual dinner hears from Treasury Select Committee Chair

The annual dinner of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ corporate and financial group was addressed by the Chair of the House of Commons’ Treasury Select Committee, Rt Hon Nicky Morgan M.P., who provided diners with an update on the work programme on which her committee had embarked and recently undertaken.

With around seventy corporate and financial PR practitioners present at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair, the questions and discussion which followed Ms Morgan’s speech covered a wide range of topics, including the value of diversity in corporate governance; the role of Select Committees in scrutinising public policy and holding various bodies to account; the implications of developments in the Brexit negotiations for financial services and corporate business; and how the current state of party politics might play out in the coming months.

All-Party Parliamentary Group hears about social enterprise in education

A meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on social enterprise was held in Westminster yesterday to hear presentations about the role of the sector in education.

The session began with a discussion about the approach taken in Scotland led by Social Enterprise Academy, where more than a thousand schools (sixty per cent primary schools) had engaged — and the programme was being expanded through the British Council and a franchise model, including some pilots to start soon in London. In Scotland, the establishment of social enterprises in schools has been pupil-led, based on trading, lasting more than a year and requires full school coverage. Pupils are invited to reflect on what they care about, and the participants shift observably from passive learning to active citizenship in the course of their projects.

Two school-focused projects based in east London also shared their experience, citing the value which exposure to the development and operation of social enterprise can have on the curriculum and skills acquisition in practical contexts. The main challenges being co-ordination (rather than capacity) and effective school engagement given the other pressures on education resources.

A representative of the School of Social Enterprise shared the experience that the school has working in education, where starting with the social mission rapidly evolves in a enterprise model. Their objective is not to constrain the ideas of pupils, but to refine in the context of prevailing practicalities. The School of Social Enterprise generally delivers their engagement outside the school day, though it also sits comfortably with the alternative curriculum for those excluded or lesser engaged in academic study. In the adult programmes run by the School, the age of participants is reducing, including a number of graduates seeking to make their way in the social enterprise world: something which might stimulate further engagement with schools.

The scope for Local Enterprise Partnerships to be involved in the resourcing and investment, to complement a number of the projects funded with higher education was suggested as an alternative mechanism for effective delivery.

FCA proposals for peer-to-peer lending considered at Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation roundtable

The Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) hosted a roundtable discussion this lunchtime at Armourers’ Hall to consider the FCA’s proposals for peer-to-peer lending.

Focused on the question of whether the proposals represent a crackdown or coming of age, participants considered the sector’s approach to risk management and protecting the interests of retail investors through robust transparency requirements on platforms (and the extension of comparability between different offerings). The sector’s broad welcome for the main thrust and direction which the FCA has proposed was reflected in the exchanges at the session, and the future prospects for a sector making a useful contribution to the UK economy generally welcomed.

Robert Pettigrew recognised in Peer-to-Peer Finance News Power Fifty for 2018

Three-Line Director, Robert Pettigrew, has been included in Peer-to-Peer Finance News’ list as one of the fifty most influential people in the UK peer-to-peer lending sector in 2018, published by the trade journal this morning.

Compiled in consultation with the key peer-to-peer lending stakeholders, the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association — of which Robert is the Director — is the sector’s trade body and champion of self-regulation. The list also includes the Association’s current and previous chair in the top ten.

Other recipients in this year’s list include the head of the country’s first publicly-listed P2P lending platform, the leaders of fully-regulated ISA providers and other inspiring innovators who are taking the sector to the next level.

The full list of recipients can be found at: