Church of England Pensions Board issues £50m of bonds to fund clergy retirement housing scheme

Written by Natalie Tuck

The Church of England Pensions Board has issued £50m of bonds in order to purchase additional properties for its clergy retirement housing scheme.

The bonds are repayable in tranches between 2044 and 2048 and were issued through a special purpose vehicle, CHARM Finance plc. Some £30m of the bonds were placed immediately, and the remaining £20m retained to provide quick access to the capital markets if required in the future. This is the second bond issued by CHARM Finance plc following a £100m issue in 2015.

Commenting, Church of England Pensions Board chairman Dr Jonathan Spencer said: “The board is committed to continuing to provide affordable housing in retirement to those retiring clergy who need it. We decided the time was right to raise a further tranche of long term capital to help secure the future of our clergy retirement housing (CHARM) scheme.

“This finance underpins our long term strategy to keep or acquire properties that are most suitable for our rental scheme, meeting the needs of retiring clergy in the years to come,” he said.

The board’s Housing Committee chair Canon Sandra Newton said it is the second long term financing arrangement the board has entered into.

“It will provide greater certainty over borrowing costs for a long period, by taking advantage of the current low interest rate environment. Strategically, the bond issued today sits very well with our existing sources of finance for clergy retirement housing,” she added.

TradeRisks Limited acted as sole arranger for the bond issue, which was subscribed to by Royal London Asset Management (RLAM).

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