British Business Bank agrees new £100m ENABLE Guarantee with specialist business lender Cambridge & Counties Bank

Press release 29 March 2023

The British Business Bank has agreed a £100 million guarantee facility with specialist business lender Cambridge & Counties Bank through its ENABLE Guarantee scheme, with the option of extending this to £150 million in the future.

This builds on a separate facility secured in May 2018, which the bank has used to help a range of UK businesses over the past five years.

The ENABLE Guarantee programme, open to most lending institutions, is designed to encourage banks and other lenders to increase their lending to smaller businesses by reducing the amount of capital or junior funding required for such lending. Under an ENABLE Guarantee, the UK Government assumes a portion of the risk on a portfolio of loans to smaller businesses, in return for a fee. When working with non-bank financial institutions, this risk portion typically aligns with any senior funder.

The latest facility will allow the Leicester-based bank, which is jointly owned by Trinity Hall, a college of the University of Cambridge, and the Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund, to lend additional amounts to smaller businesses over and above its long-established, pan-UK lending programme.

Launched in 2012, the bank services the small business market with manually underwritten focused products in real estate and asset finance. Despite the significant economic headwinds in 2022, Cambridge & Counties Bank saw the value of loans to its clients reach a record last year, with growth driven by demand for its competitive, tailored lending solutions. The bank reports that an important element of its recent growth and success has been a recognition of the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards and reporting.

This transaction will also include support for small business residential landlords who want to improve the Energy Performance Certificate ratings of properties through measures such as effective insulation. The focus is closely aligned with the British Business Bank’s objective of supporting the UK’s transition to a net zero economy.

We’re pleased to be announcing this additional ENABLE Guarantee facility with Cambridge & Counties Bank, which has shown its ability to help smaller businesses grow and succeed as well as help to reduce regional imbalances across the UK.

As well as fitting well with the British Business Bank’s objective of supporting the UK’s transition to a net zero economy, this will also support tenants at a time when their energy bills are a top priority for them.

Reinald de Monchy Managing Director, Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions, British Business Bank
We’re delighted to be continuing our relationship with the British Business Bank and our support for the Government’s ENABLE scheme, which has a great track record of delivering positive outcomes for businesses. As sustainability and related issues have risen up the corporate agenda, including at Cambridge & Counties Bank, we are highly supportive of its ambition to help businesses transition to net zero. Cambridge & Counties Bank remains at the forefront of the industry drive towards a more sustainable future. Mike Hudson Chief Risk Officer, Cambridge & Counties Bank

Notes to editors

Cambridge & Counties Bank has a unique structure being jointly owned by Trinity Hall, a College of the University of Cambridge, and Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund. They each own 50 per cent of the bank, whose management team is led by Chief Executive Donald Kerr who has previously held a number of senior roles in the banking sector.

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank 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 £12.2 billion1  of finance to more than 96,000 smaller businesses2 .

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 £80.4 billion in finance to 1.67 million businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications.

British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. Wholly owned by HM government, the Bank and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at the British Business Bank.

  • 1

    Figures as at the end of March 2022

  • 2

    Figures as at the end of March 2022