The RBS PeopleCharity
PeopleCharity notice of merger
The merger of the unrestricted fund of the RBS PeopleCharity
Colleagues will remember that between December 2016 and February 2017 the
trustees of the Charity consulted on a proposal to merge the main fund of the
Charity with another charity with similar objects called the Bank Workers
Charity ("BWC"). The objects of the BWC are to assist employees and former employees of all banks in the UK.
There were some responses to the consultation and additionally the trustees engaged with the Group Pensioners Association and held a useful meeting with BWC that was also attended by a representative of the Group Pensioners Association.
Taking into account the comments received, and following further consideration of the proposal and the terms upon which the merger would take place, the trustees resolved on 2nd May 2017 to proceed with the merger. That merger has now taken place with completion occurring on 30th June 2017.
The principal reasons for the merger were threefold.
- First, the trustees were concerned that the administrative support previously provided over a period of many years by RBS free of charge may reduce in the future. That support is currently provided from Group Pension Services in Croydon but this department is currently being run down following the outsourcing of the pension administration function to an independent administration company.
- Second, BWC has a much larger team whose job is to reach out and promote BWC to the banks and pensioner associations, provide help and practical support for beneficiaries in need. Accordingly, BWC is not only able to provide financial support, in the same way as the Charity, but also to provide advice, guidance and support services, such as telephone mentoring for those living with a long-term disability and their carers.
- Finally, because the BWC undertakes a similar charitable function to the Charity, the merger will potentially eliminate duplication and achieve savings. This should free up more of the charitable funds in the future to assist beneficiaries in need.
The terms of the merger are detailed and the trustees would like to take this opportunity to explain some of the main provisions that the trustees insisted upon to assure a prosperous future for you, our beneficiaries.
- The unrestricted investments and cash being merged into the BWC will for the future be comprised within the BWC as a discrete fund, separate from the other assets of the BWC. This discrete fund will be held on trust solely for the benefits of employees and former employees of RBS and its constituent companies and their dependants. This is not only the right thing to do, but is supported as a legal requirement because the objects of the BWC are wider than those of the Charity and charity law would not permit assets of the Charity to be used for a wider purpose than that for which they were provided.
- There will be a RBS nominated trustee elected to the board of trustees of the BWC. That person has already been selected and has been approved by the selection procedure of the BWC.
- In addition to the appointment of a RBS nominated trustee, there will also be an advisory panel that will comprise members nominated from within RBS to assist and guide the board of the BWC in the application of the discrete RBS fund comprised within the BWC. This panel will be chaired by a trustee of the BWC but will comprise people who are either former trustees of the Charity, members of the Group Pensioners Association or present or former employees of RBS.
- The trustees of the Charity are committed to ensuring that no beneficiary of the Charity would be prejudiced as a result of the merger. Accordingly, it has been agreed between the Charity and the BWC that all beneficiaries of the Charity currently in receipt of agreed top-up fee payments for care home (following the closure of the Charity’s care homes) will continue to receive payments on the same basis as agreed with the Charity. In addition, the BWC has committed to continue the winter fuel allowance for at least the winter of 2017/18. Further application of the winter fuel allowance will be subject to review during 2018 in the same way as the trustees of the Charity would have reviewed it’s continuation into the future.
- The Charity will continue to exist in relation to relatively smaller funds that are subject to restricted provisions (the
"Restricted Funds"). The unrestricted funds comprise by far the bigger section of the Charity and these assets are being transferred to the BWC. The smaller Restricted Funds, valued in June 2016 at £2,152,813 will remain subject to the trusts of the Charity and BWC will become the trustee of the Charity for the administration of those Restricted Funds.
The trustees of the Charity believe that the merger is in the best interests of, and will be welcomed by, the beneficiaries of the Charity as the BWC is better able to assist beneficiaries of the Charity in many more practical ways than the Charity currently is, being principally a grant making charity. Both the trustees of the Charity and the BWC are committed to a smooth and seamless transition to BWC.
The BWC is very excited at the prospect of being able to apply its skill and experience for the benefit of beneficiaries of the Charity. The BWC also has recent experience of merging a similar charity allied to Barclays Bank. Further communications will be sent by the BWC to beneficiaries of the Charity within the next few weeks.
John Mallalieu, Chief Executive of the Bank Workers Charity says "On
behalf of the BWC Trustees and team, we are delighted to be merging with the RBS
PeopleCharity. We are dedicated to delivering a successful outcome for existing
RBS beneficiaries, in the same way that we do for all of the banking community
and we look to forward to supporting you as you always have been and to helping
new members of the RBS community in future."
Potential beneficiaries who would otherwise have made an application for assistance from the RBS PeopleCharity will now be able to make an application for assistance from the BWC with immediate effect.
The contact details of the BWC are as follows:
Address: Bank Workers Charity, Salisbury House, Finsbury Circus, London EC2M 5QQ
Helpline: 0800 0234 834
The board of trustees of the RBS PeopleCharity