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British Business Bank announces Hitachi Capital (UK) accreditation as first partner under its new Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Asset Finance variant

The British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank, has announced Hitachi Capital (UK) as the first accredited lender for the Bank’s new Asset Finance variant of its successful Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) programme.

Hitachi Capital (UK) is also the first provider to be accredited for the Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) programme since 2013.

The EFG programme facilitates business loans to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain finance from their lender due to having insufficient security or track record to meet the lender’s normal requirements.

The EFG provides lenders such as Hitachi Capital (UK) with a government-backed 75% guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. Since its launch in 2009, EFG has supported the provision of close to 28,000 business loans to a value of over £2.9bn (as at end of June 2017).

The new Asset Finance variant of the EFG programme will enable accredited lenders to offer asset finance options to an even wider range of smaller businesses with the potential to grow. The British Business Bank, has worked closely with the asset finance sector to create this new variant for the EFG programme in response to the recommendations of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme – Strategic and Operational Design Review.

Hitachi Capital (UK) already has a successful relationship with the British Business Bank as a partner on the Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme, which aims to boost the availability of asset finance to smaller businesses. To date Hitachi’s role as an ENABLE Funding partner has allowed it to provide almost £240m of additional finance to around 3,100 smaller businesses.

Bernard Skivington, Director of Wholesale Solutions at the British Business Bank, said: “The British Business Bank wants smaller businesses across the UK to be able to access the right kind of finance they need to help them grow and succeed. We are delighted to be announcing Hitachi Capital (UK) as the first accredited lender under the new asset finance variant of our Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) programme.

“This new variant is a major development of an established core product for the Bank, enabling the provision of additional asset finance, a vital funding option for smaller businesses looking to grow, expand, and create jobs. Having access to EFG to support critical investment in business assets through leasing or hire purchase provides a significant opportunity for many more viable smaller businesses to realise their ambitions.”

Gavin Wraith-Carter, Managing Director, Hitachi Capital Business Finance said: “Being the first funder to be part of the EFG scheme for asset finance is a great privilege and we are confident that it will enable us to unlock access to asset finance for British businesses and support their development and growth in the future. This is another positive example of how we can work closely with the British Business Bank to open up lending to the UK SME and our plan is to fulfil at least £25million of funding under this scheme over the next twelve months. The Banks proactive approach to bringing products like this to the market is something that we are delighted to be part of.”

Simon Goldie, Head of Asset Finance at the FLA, said, “The FLA warmly welcomes the British Business Bank’s announcement that asset finance (leasing and hire purchase) contracts will now be eligible for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee. Having worked very closely with the bank to help develop this facility, we look forward to seeing the availability of much-needed SME funding boosted in this way.”

The British Business Bank application process for new lenders – including asset finance providers – under its Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme remains open. Please see the British Business Bank website for further details.

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For further information please contact:

Hitachi Capital (UK)

Jo Morris, Hitachi Capital Business Finance, 01784 227322, joanna.morris@hitachicapital.co.uk

British Business Bank

James Pignon, MHP Communications, +44 20 3128 8184, bbb@mhpc.com

Scott Shearer, British Business Bank, Scott.Shearer@british-business-bank.co.uk

About Hitachi Capital Business Finance:

Hitachi Capital Business Finance, a subsidiary of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, provides business asset finance to over 25,000 customers across the UK, powering both SMEs and bigger corporations to meet their goals and grow. Working across multiple sectors, the business works through finance brokers and with vendor organisations to provide products including hire purchase, operating lease, finance lease solutions and block discounting.

About Hitachi Capital

Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is a leading financial services company with over 30 years’ experience providing innovative finance solutions to enable consumers, SMEs, fleet owners, motor dealers and retailers to grow and prosper. Hitachi Capital has over 1,200 employees, nearly £4bn of assets and over 1 million customers across its four business units; Consumer Finance, Vehicle Solutions, Business Finance and Invoice Finance.

Hitachi Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Capital Corporation, one of Japan’s largest non-bank financial institutions. Hitachi Capital Corporation is part of Hitachi Limited, the global manufacturing and technology firm. Manufacturing continues to be a key part of Hitachi Capital’s DNA, delivering complex products to high levels of customer satisfaction. Its corporate clients include some of the UK’s leading companies such as British Gas, Royal Bank of Scotland, B&Q and John Lewis.

About British Business Bank:

The British Business Bank is the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. 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 is currently supporting over 59,000 businesses, working through over 100 finance partners. Its programmes support over £3.4bn of finance to UK smaller businesses and participate in a further £5.8bn of finance to UK small mid-cap businesses.

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses. It has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). This guide impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Take the interactive journey at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb or download/print a copy.

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme is operated by British Business Bank Financial Services Limited as agent for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

British Business Bank Financial Services Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.