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Trowers & Hamlins advises Church of England Pensions Board on £100m bond issue

Trowers & Hamlins advises Church of England Pensions Board on £100m bond issue

Trowers & Hamlins is pleased to have advised the Church of England Pension Board on a ground-breaking bond issue – the first by an institution affiliated with the Church of England.

The Church of England Pensions Board's CHARM scheme assists eligible clergy retiring from active ministry who are unable to make their own provision for retirement housing.  More widely, the Board provides retirement services for those who have served or worked for the Church of England including administering three pension schemes and managing assets of over £1.8 billion.

The long-term finance raised from the issue will allow the Board to purchase additional retirement properties to house retired clergy.

Alan Fletcher, Chair of the Board's Housing Committee, said:  "This new long-term financing arrangement will bring greater certainty over borrowing costs, by taking advantage of the current low interest rate environment.  This will not only enable us to sustain the essential financial support for CHARM that the wider Church continues to provide for future generations but will also enable the Board to widen the choice of properties available to members of the clergy who need to use our services as they approach retirement."

The bonds are repayable in tranches between 2038 and 2048 and were issued through a special purpose vehicle, CHARM Finance plc.  £70 million of the bonds were placed immediately, and the remaining £30 million retained to provide further access to the capital markets if required in the future.

Sarah Gooden, Eleanor James and Simon Valner of Trowers & Hamlins' Banking and Finance team advised the Board on the bond documentation and set up of CHARM Finance plc.