Deloitte with The Big Exchange

Social Value

Making money count for people and the planet

Driving financial inclusion with The Big Exchange

The Big Exchange (TBE) is a financial services start-up on a mission to disrupt the financial industry and build a new financial system in the UK – “one that works for everyone and delivers a positive impact on people and the planet”. Its mission is imperative for The Big Issue who co-founded The Big Exchange alongside other financial services partners and are best known for helping vulnerable and homeless people into employment.

The Global Impact Investor Network (GIIN) estimates that the global impact investment market is worth $550 billion globally and growing at 20% annually. Impact investing is a significant part of sustainable finance, and a way for investors to move capital towards positive impact for society and the planet. TBE’s aim was to make impact investing accessible to everyone, including small investors.

As a small-team start-up, TBE needed a partner with broad expertise and the ability to deliver impactful solutions at start-up pace; a team that would go on the journey with TBE, not merely deliver consulting to it.

With a shared sense of purpose and commitment to societal impact, Deloitte knew that it had to be involved in supporting TBE to achieve its objectives. Experts from all areas of the business – from investment management, to sustainable finance and social impact measurement, marketing, technology and Cloud – came together to make an impact on society and the environment.

When work began in June 2019, TBE was planning to launch the first-ever online platform ‘impact investing for everyone’. The innovative and inclusive platform was designed to enable customers to access high-quality impact funds with as little as £25 invested per month, that are rated for their positive impact on society and the planet. By investing in the platform, customers would be able to see the social or environmental impact of their investment, with each fund mapped to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Deloitte worked alongside TBE to deliver comprehensive business readiness support that resulted in the successful launch of TBE’s unique impact investing platform in October 2020. Since its launch, the impact investment platform has already attracted a Best Buy Sustainable ISA rating from Boring Money, the money and investment advice website, and (as at April 30th) has grown its  Assets under Administration (AUA) by over 5 times since the beginning of 2021.

At the beginning of 2020, Deloitte began to shape the second product, leading research to inform the design of the money-management app and marketplace, identifying the target customers and their needs, and understanding existing initiatives in the market. The solution was an app featuring a unique free-to-use marketplace of ethical financial products.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Deloitte and TBE agreed to accelerate the delivery of the app recognising a need and a desire to support those who may be struggling or financially squeezed as a result of the pandemic.

The team acted quickly to design the app and get it ready to launch to the public. Given the predicted rise in unemployment and increased financial difficulty following the ending of temporary COVID-19 support measures, e.g. furlough and increased universal credit, the app is expected to help tens of thousands of people following its launch in early 2021.

This is the first financial services project Deloitte has delivered in the UK that is entirely focused on social value. Deloitte’s UK consulting leader, Anne-Marie Malley, described it as “a clear demonstration of our commitment to make a transformative impact on society, through our people”.

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