The British Business Bank (BBB) is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government. The British Business Bank’s core programmes support over £12.2bn of finance to more than 96,000 smaller businesses.
As well as increasing the supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
The British Business Bank is also responsible for administering the government’s three Coronavirus loan schemes and its Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4bn in finance to 1.67m businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications.
Mission and Objectives
The Bank’s mission, objectives and KPIs are developed in consultation with BEIS and HM Treasury. The Bank has seven objectives which support the Bank’s mission:
- Increase the supply of finance available to smaller businesses where markets don’t work well.
- Help to create a more diverse finance market for smaller businesses, with a greater choice of options and providers.
- Identify and help to reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK.
- Encourage and enable SMEs to seek the finance best suited to their needs.
- Be the centre of expertise on smaller business finance in the UK, providing advice and support to Government.
- Support the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.
- Achieve its other objectives whilst managing taxpayer resources efficiently within a robust risk management framework.
As part of its Centre of Expertise objective, the Bank strives to build, refine, and share its expertise, both to deliver more effective programmes and to advice and shape SME access to finance approaches with important stakeholders. This means working closely with BEIS as the Bank's Shareholder along with HM Treasury and other stakeholders across government, industry, business organisations, trade associations, academia and think tanks.
In pursuit of its objectives, the Bank undertakes a range of finance programmes and non-financial activities for smaller businesses across the UK, at all stages of development.
For its finance programmes, the principal business model is to work indirectly through delivery partners, which are financial services providers for smaller businesses (such as banks, non-bank lenders, equity funds and private debt funds). For most of its programmes, this indirect approach enables the Bank to ‘leverage in’ third-party funding in addition to its own, maximising the impact of the public funds it deploys. The business model provides the flexibility to manage finance programmes on both its own balance sheet and the balance sheets of government departments. In the latter case, the Bank act as an ‘agent’ on their behalf – primarily for its Shareholder (BEIS), for programmes such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine, and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Funds.
The Bank’s non-financial activities are closely integrated with, and complementary to, its finance programmes. These include:
Developing demand through regional and digital networks.
Undertaking market and research analysis that examines the UK’s finance provision landscape for smaller businesses.
Commissioning independent assurance of its portfolio of schemes and programmes to enable best practice, effectiveness and value for money.
Further details on the Bank and its programmes can be found on its website: here.
The Bank’s ability to deliver on its mission, purpose and strategy is dependent on committed colleagues with appropriate expertise and experience, and the ability to work collaboratively and creatively. It continually strives to create an inspiring culture and environment, based on shared values, that enables colleagues to excel.
The Bank recruits candidates from a diversity of backgrounds who can bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and ideas from the public and private sectors, and who share a passion for our mission and purpose. Colleagues say they are proud to work for the organisation, and this is reflected in how they go about their work – from award-winning performance and creation of innovative solutions to a willingness to embrace cross-team working and knowledge-sharing.