British Business Bank appoints Elizabeth O’Neill as General Counsel

Press release 11 February 2021

The British Business Bank has appointed Elizabeth O’Neill as General Counsel and Company Secretary of the British Business Bank plc, effective from 15 February 2021

Elizabeth O’Neill is a highly experienced General Counsel with more than 20 years’ experience in the public and private sectors advising on EU competition law, international law and corporate governance. She has undertaken a variety of legal leadership roles for Her Majesty’s Government throughout her career.

Elizabeth comes to British Business Bank from her previous role as Head Legal Adviser for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) where she led a large in-house legal team advising the MHRA Board and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

Prior to that role, she served as General Counsel and Member of Executive Committee for UK Government Investments Ltd, and Head of State Aid and Commercial Law for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, where she worked on the set up for both the Green Investment Bank and the British Business Bank. During the past year the British Business Bank was responsible for delivering government economic measures to support business and delivered £1.5bn of funding to SMEs through the CBILS, CLBILs, Bounce Back Loans and Future Fund schemes.

I am excited to be joining the British Business Bank at such an important time, as it focuses on supporting smaller businesses which are so critical to the country’s economic recovery. I look forward to working with a highly accomplished team, contributing to strong governance, and ensuring that the interests of small businesses, the Bank and its stakeholders are protected. Elizabeth O’Neill British Business Bank
Elizabeth has a breadth of knowledge and depth of industry experience and we are delighted to welcome her to the Bank as General Counsel. The leadership and expertise that she brings will be invaluable as the Bank continues to grow and support the UK’s economy.” Elizabeth takes up her role from Shanika Amarasekara MBE, who has been appointed as the British Business Bank’s Executive Committee member responsible for ESG, Economics, Policy and Strategy Catherine Lewis La Torre CEO, British Business Bank

Notes to editors

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 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’s core programmes support nearly £8bn1  of finance to almost 94,800 smaller businesses2 . Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has also launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering more than £72bn of finance to over 1.5m 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. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.

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. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc 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

  • 1

    Figures as at end of June 2020

  • 2

    Figures as at 28 January 2021