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British Business Bank increases finance provided to SMEs by 24%

Tom Belger | 7:06 Wednesday 19th July 2017

The British Business Bank (BBB) has increased the total stock of finance it provided through its programmes to SMEs to £9.2bn during the past financial year.

The 24% rise was reported in the British Business Bank’s annual report for the financial year 2016/17.

The report found that the BBB had seen significant growth in its delivery of its programmes to support small businesses.

It managed to help over 59,000 SMEs to receive a loan or investment through its programmes, while via its commercial arm – British Business Bank Investments Ltd – it committed over £580m to providers of finance to UK SMEs.

The past year saw the BBB launch its Help to Grow programme, which targeted smaller businesses with high-growth potential with Lloyds Bank and OakNorth being the first lenders to sign up.

“Over the past year, we have delivered strongly against our four key performance indicators, broadening our support to provide more finance and extra choice for smaller businesses, at all stages of their growth,” said Keith Morgan, CEO of the BBB.

“It has been a year of significant expansion for the bank and – as our market impact continues to grow – we are well placed to respond flexibly to challenges ahead, helping to increase the amount and range of finance available to smaller UK businesses.”

The BBB also launched its first regionally focused fund – the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment fund – as well as merging with the Start Up Loans Company and being awarded an additional £400m from the 2016 Autumn Budget to support later-stage venture capital.

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chair of the BBB, said that by the start of 2016/17, the BBB had successfully moved from start-up phase to delivering strongly against a significant evolving political and economic background.

“Over the year, it has substantially scaled up its programmes and broadened its support for smaller businesses across the UK.

“I am delighted to be chairing the bank as it moves into a new phase of helping our vitally important small businesses realise their potential in a post-Brexit environment.”

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