The British Business Bank the economic development bank owned by the government has invested 527m in Britain’s smaller enterprises in the last 12 months.
The bank revealed that it has supported 48, 000 firms of all sizes, lending 7.5bn in total, since the organisation was first established 17 months ago.
To coincide with the release of its annual accounts for 2015 to 2016, the bank announced the extent to which it has been helping smaller business owners understand the financing options available to them.
Awareness of the various different forms of funding available to smaller businesses has risen to 48 per cent, up from 45 per cent in 2015, according to a report published by the bank.
Helping to create a more diverse financing market for smaller firms, the bank also stated that some 90 per cent of the funding it delivered came via partner organisations outside of the so called big four? banks Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS.
Chairman of the British Business Bank Ron Emerson said that he was pleased with the work of the lender so far. It is clear that the bank is making significant progress as a key catalyst in delivering a more effective set of financing options for smaller businesses, he said.
The bank’s CEO Keith Morgan added that the uncertain economic environment created by the Brexit vote has made propping up small business in the UK all the more important.
as we enter a period of increased uncertainty, we will redouble our efforts to support key segments of the small business finance market, explained Morgan, adding that the bank will continue developing new finance initiatives that serve the needs of smaller businesses, support key government priorities and deliver returns.
When it launched, the British Business Bank was divided into three components to cater for businesses of varying size. Its Start Up, Scale Up, and Stay Ahead channels draw on different government funding schemes, with the Start Up Loans scheme for firms at the beginning of the process, and debt funds later on.