By Claire West

A new ‘social network’ financial institution BankToTheFuture.com is offering an open, transparent way for entrepreneurs, businesses and investors to raise finance and invest in each other.

The launch came just weeks after the online CrowdFunding platform made it into the Top 50 of Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Unite Screw Business As Usual competition, with praise from Branson himself for BankToTheFuture.com’s transparency and goals.

One of a number of growing CrowdFunding ventures, BankToTheFuture.com com is different from other financiers available to the public because it is the world’s first social media-driven financial institution, evaluating customers on their social media ‘capital’ on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+ and not just credit rating like traditional banks.

All members of BankToTheFuture.com get to build their social capital score for the future, which measures additional factors such as reviews, social media activities and recommendations.

BankToTheFuture.com is also making three types of financial offerings available - CrowdFunding, CrowdInvesting and CrowdLending (available 2013) but any money will only be invested in products and businesses that seek to bring out new value and potentially create jobs in the future.

Unlike traditional banks charging interest on loans, people who join BankToTheFuture.com get to lend their savings direct to creditworthy borrowers to receive the interest on their savings as well as invest in shares and rewards in the businesses that they feel deserve it, plus they’ll see exactly what happens with their money.

BankToTheFuture.com CEO Simon Dixon said: “The goal was to build the world's first social network financial institution where everything is transparent and open and people can see what happens with their money."