British Business Bank appoints UK Network Director for the North of England and the Midlands

Press release 11 December 2018

The British Business Bank has appointed Geoff Whiteland to a new position as UK Network Director, North of England and the Midlands.

The British Business Bank – the government-owned economic development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses – is establishing a UK Network, with team members based within each of the English regions and the three Devolved Nations. The UK Network was originally announced as part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, with a remit to identify and help to reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK.

The UK Network will help enhance business finance ecosystems across the UK, so smaller businesses, wherever they are, can grow and prosper. It will also help the Bank develop a deeper understanding of small business finance markets in all parts of the UK, so that, ultimately, the Bank can improve its support to smaller businesses everywhere.

Geoff and his team of five will represent the UK Network across the North of England and the Midlands and will engage closely with business finance stakeholders in these areas.

Geoff joined the Bank in 2015, initially working on the Help to Grow scheme before transitioning to become an Originations Director within Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions. Prior to joining the Bank, Geoff spent 20 years working for UK banks in corporate, SME and structured finance roles.

I am delighted to welcome Geoff to the British Business Bank’s new UK Network, where he will be able to leverage his existing knowledge of the Bank and its programmes. Geoff is joining this newly-created team at an exciting stage in its development. I’m confident he will continue to enhance and build further our relationships with key SME access to finance stakeholders in the North of England and the Midlands to help identify and reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across those regions. Judith Hartley Managing Director, UK Network
I am very happy to be joining the UK Network, and look forward to building on my existing relationships to promote lasting connections between the British Business Bank and the business finance ecosystem in the North and the Midlands. By enhancing these connections with local businesses, their advisors, funders and other intermediaries – as well as public and private partners – we will enable smaller businesses to seek the finance best suited to their needs. Geoff Whiteland UK Network Director, North of England and the Midlands

The UK Network is part of the British Business Bank’s new Demand Development Unit, which has been specifically created to raise the Bank’s profile and relationship with smaller businesses across the UK. The Demand Development Unit also incorporates the Bank’s recently launched Finance Hub, a digital information hub aimed at raising awareness of the finance options available to UK SMEs. It is the source of independent information for growing businesses and offers guidance for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses using interactive content.

Further Information

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 is currently supporting more than £5.5bn of finance to over 78,000 smaller businesses (as at end of June 2018).

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 new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and 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.