EU approves Big Society Capital's use of dormant accounts

The European Commission has approved the use of up to £400million from dormant bank accounts to set up Big Society Capital (BSC). The approval under EU state aid rules had been given faster than expected, as it was predicted that a decision from the Commission would take up to 18 months, resulting in a delay in setting up BSC, which is currently making social investments through an interim committee within the Big Lottery Fund. BSC is still seeking Financial Services Authority (FSA) authorisation, and aims to be open for business in the first quarter of next year. The European Commission's approval of BSC will last five years. An increase of the initial capitalisation of BSC through dormant account money beyond £400million, and any increase of BSC's total balance sheet beyond £600million, will need to be notified to the Commission.