The Big Exchange is building a new financial system that works for everyone

The Big Issue has teamed up with leading asset managers to produce a blockchain-based platform that makes ethical financial services available to all

The Big Issue is aiming to shake-up the City’s financial system with The Big Exchange – a blockchain-based mobile-first platform that offers a new approach to banking, saving and investing.

Developed in conjunction with Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI), Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Alliance Beinstein and Alquity, the revolutionary platform is aiming to make finance more inclusive.

The Big Exchange does this by allowing anyone with savings or pensions to invest in funds that give them a financial return and make a positive social and environmental impact.

The app will let users track how their funds support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and allow them to switch their preferred area with just a tap of the screen.

Every investor and saver – which could be any of us instead of being limited to high-flying investment firms – will build up a digital ‘social passport’ which will track, encourage and reward their positive impact.

“The Big Exchange follows exactly the same principles as The Big Issue and its co-founder Lord John Bird of a hand up, not a hand out,” said Nigel Kershaw OBE, chairman of The Big Exchange and The Big Issue Group. “A mission-driven business that is more effective and sustainable because it’s not a charity. It will help millions of people to help each other build a better society. That’s huge.”

The impact platform, dubbed The Big Funds, is just phase one of The Big Issue’s ambitious project to dismantle poverty through impact investing and ethical financial services for all.

The overall objective is a complete blockchain-based ecosystem that works for everyone.

The Big Exchange has received indications of support from major institutions for at least £1 million in funding.

ASI global head of distribution Campbell Fleming said: “Change in the way the UK invests is long overdue. Low cost, well-managed impact funds can help people do better with their savings, while doing good for society and the planet without sacrificing financial returns. That’s why we’re launching The Big Exchange.”

The project is currently in the user testing stage with a beta version to be launched early in 2019.