Big Society Capital appoints James Chew as new non-executive director


Tuesday 25 April 2023: The Board of Big Society Capital is pleased to welcome HSBC’s Group Head of Regulatory Strategy, James Chew as its new bank appointed non-executive director.

Subject to regulatory approval, James will take over from Stuart Foster, Managing Director of Financial Institutions at NatWest, who has been a board member at the UK’s leading social impact investor since taking up the role in June 2017.

James has had a distinguished career in financial services; having held several senior roles at HSBC since 1993, including Deputy Head of Strategy and Group Head of Acquisitions and Disposals. In his current role, he considers key regulatory and public policy developments that will affect the HSBC Group across the world.

James also has deep experience in helping businesses access finance during challenging financial times - fitting with Big Society Capital’s work in providing critical finance to community enterprises across the UK. James helped create the Business Growth Fund, a £2.5bn growth capital company bringing together five UK banks to provide long-term equity investment to small and medium-sized businesses.

More recently, James has served on the EU’s High-Level Forum for Capital Markets Union. He has a degree in Geography from Oxford, and an MBA from the Bayes Business School, London, where he is an Honorary Visiting Professor.

James was appointed by Big Society Capital’s four shareholder banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest Group – who have collectively invested £200 million in equity into the organisation.

His appointment comes at an important time for the social impact investment market, as it faces the dual challenge of remaining sustainable while supporting charities, social enterprises and community businesses through tough economic times. With his investment management experience, James is well placed to help the organisation in tackling these challenges.

The Board of Big Society Capital expresses its gratitude to Stuart Foster for his contribution to helping build the social impact investment market in the UK during his time as Board member. During his tenure, Big Society Capital has delivered on its mission to help grow the social impact investing market in the UK, which since 2011 has increased more than ten-fold – to £8 billion.

James Chew, Group Head of Regulatory Strategy at HSBC, said: “I am passionate about the critical role small, medium-sized and community enterprises across the UK can play in helping communities stay resilient – so I am delighted to be joining Big Society Capital’s mission in helping them access the right finance. Investment into society’s trickiest challenges is the future of the financial market as we know it, so it will be a privilege to take over from Stuart Foster who has made an outstanding contribution during his time as a Big Society Capital board member.”

Stephen Muers, CEO at Big Society Capital, said: “The Board is pleased to welcome James as our new non-executive director. His wealth of experience in the financial sector – and particularly in helping launch the Business Growth Fund - will bring huge value. We are grateful to Stuart Foster for his time on the board for nearly six years, which has been instrumental in the growth of the social impact investment market.”


Note to Editors

For further information, please contact:

Caroline Hailstone, PR Manager,

Big Society Capital

About Big Society Capital

Big Society Capital is the UK’s leading social impact investor. Our mission is to grow the amount of money invested in tackling social issues and inequalities in the UK. We do this by investing our own capital and helping others invest for impact too. ​

​Since 2012, we have helped build a market that has directed more than £8 billion into social purpose organisations tackling issues from homelessness and mental health, to childhood obesity and fuel poverty, a ten-fold increase in ten years.​

James Chew - HSBC