Annual Report and Accounts 2021

Report and publications 21 September 2021

Our Annual Report and Accounts reports on the performance of the Bank during the 2020/21 financial year.

Between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, the Bank increased its financial support to smaller businesses by more than £80bn, to nearly £89bn. This increase was largely due to the role the Bank played in delivering part of the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report covers the performance of the Bank’s core programmes during the year, as well as the Covid-19 emergency finance schemes.

It also sets out the Bank’s revised mission and new objective on net zero, reflecting the Bank’s commitment to playing an active role in driving a more sustainable economy.

Key highlights of the British Business Bank Annual Report

The Bank’s performance against its six objectives in the last financial year was as follows:

  • Increasing the supply of finance to smaller businesses – The stock of finance supported through the Bank’s core finance programmes was £8.506bn at the end of March 2021*. This was below its target of £9.085bn due to displacement of existing programmes by Covid-19 emergency finance schemes. These offered £80.4bn of finance to almost 1.7m businesses. This emergency support, which is not included under the Bank’s core programmes, was evenly distributed across the Nations and regions of the UK.
  • Helping create a more diverse finance market for smaller businesses94.5% of the finance supported by the Bank’s core finance programmes in 2020/21 was delivered through smaller, newer or alternative finance providers, exceeding its 94.0% target.
  • Identifying and helping to reduce regional imbalances in access to finance – The Bank’s flow of gross deployment outside of London was £943m, over 8% above its target of £868m. The Bank announced 78 new delivery partners across its programmes, bringing the total number of providers it was working with to 218 at the end of March 2021.
  • Encouraging and enabling SMEs to seek the finance best suited to their needs – Prompted awareness of the Bank amongst SMEs surveyed was 25%, meeting the target set. 41% of SMEs surveyed said they would consider contacting the Bank for information about finance, marginally below the target of 42%.
  • Being the centre of expertise on smaller business finance in the UK, providing advice and support to the Government – The Bank was independently assessed as having deployed its expertise to government effectively, ranging from advice on Covid-19 scheme development and delivery to fulfilling priorities on research and market engagement. The Bank published six major reports, including Alone, together: Entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK.
  • Achieving its other objectives while managing taxpayers’ money efficiently – The Bank achieved an adjusted return of 14.6%, significantly exceeding its 0.10% target. This was driven by the generally strong performance of equity finance markets in 2020/21.

Revised mission and new climate change objective

In this year’s report the Bank also announces a revised mission and a new climate change objective:

Revised mission

‘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.’

New climate change objective

‘To support the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.’

*£1.3bn of the Bank’s resources were deployed during the course of the year

Download the Annual Reports and Accounts 2023 report

Our Annual Report and Accounts reports on the performance of the Bank during the 2020/21 financial year.

Download report (.pdf, 8.05mb)