Society and communities

Through our business we aim to add value not only to our clients but also to the societies and communities in which we operate. During the pandemic, many of our stakeholders, from small businesses to the charities we support, have experienced considerable disruption and challenges. As was the case in 2020, we continued to uphold our responsibility to these stakeholders which, in many cases, has evolved.

With nearly 2,000 people across 14 UK locations including Jersey, we recognise the role we can play in being a positive influence on society – whether through our decisions as a business or through giving our clients peace of mind, knowing we consider more than just financial returns when we invest on their behalf.

Thinking, acting and investing responsibly applies just as strongly to our role in society as it does to our approach to investment. We work with regulators, partners, suppliers and communities to understand their aims and ambitions, working to align our approach to best practice across our programmes.

Rathbones has a strong tradition of operating responsibly, we have programmes focusing on:

  • the strengthening of our existing procurement processes
  • identifying of partners to support our community investment ambition
  • increasing our volunteering opportunities
  • improving communication on our impact.

Our Responsible business report contains supplementary information about:

  • Our relationships with regulators
  • Rathbone’s code of conduct and whistleblowing process
  • Our approach to anti-bribery and corruption
  • Human rights and our approach to managing our modern slavery risk across our supply chain
  • How we are keeping our clients cyber safe

 

Investing in our communities
The need to support our communities continued to grow in 2021, particularly as society began to return to normality. Rathbones recognises its role in the communities in which we operate and was pleased to invest £418,000 (2020: £467,000) in almost 60 community projects. This represents 0.4% of our pre-tax profit and was distributed through several channels, these include:
 
  • the Rathbones Group Foundation, which grants each office a charitable budget each year enabling support for local projects
  • give as you earn (GAYE), supported by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), our employees can give to charity through salary sacrifice scheme. Money can be donated directly to charity or placed in a CAF account. Rathbones is pleased to match this up to £200 per month. In 2021 our employees gave almost £215,000 which Rathbones matched up to £180,000. We were pleased to be awarded the Platinum Giving Award
  • employee matching, we are pleased to support our colleagues up to £150 a year for any fundraising they participate in ad hoc fundraising, where employees or offices undertake additional activities or there are national campaigns we can release funding to this on an ad hoc basis 
  • all employees are given three days a year which they can take to volunteer.
 
With our focus on equality and disadvantaged youth, we met with a number of charity partners to explore longer-term programmes which would support our ambition and drive positive impact. A new partnership introduced in 2021 was with Social Shifters, which supports young entrepreneurs who are creating businesses in response to environmental and social challenges faced in their local communities (see our case study for more information).
 
We continue to recognise the importance of financial awareness in society, and as a financial services business we are working to develop our existing offering further. In 2020, we took our financial awareness programme digital, so that we could continue to offer it during lockdown. In 2021, we ran a number of sessions focused on 16-25-year olds, so that now the total reach across the last eight years is over 11,000 people.