British Business Bank publishes Annual Report showing increased delivery to Smaller Businesses across the UK

Press release 18 July 2018

The British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank, today publishes its Annual Reports and Accounts for 2017/18.

In the last financial year, the Bank delivered strongly against all four of its objectives:

  1. Increasing the supply of finance to smaller businesses – total stock of finance provided through Bank programmes rose by 33% to £12.25bn
  2. Helping create a more diverse finance market for smaller businesses – 95.6% of the support offered was delivered through smaller, newer or alternative finance providers 1 (up from 94% in 2015/16)
  3. Promoting better information in the market – 50% of SMEs report awareness of a range of finance options. Our Business Finance Guide was accessed online or distributed in hard copy nearly 85,000 times (an increase of 66% on 2016/17).
  4. Achieving the above while managing taxpayers’ money efficiently – an increase to 4.7% 2 adjusted return on capital employed, exceeding the target set by Government for a fourth consecutive year

Today’s results come at the end of a year of sustained growth for the UK Government-owned Bank. As well as continued delivery of existing programmes for business at all stages, the Bank developed a series of new initiatives, including extra provision for scaleup businesses and further enhancement of its regional provision.

Key highlights for 2017-18 include:

  • Nearly 75,000 small and medium-sized companies now receive a loan or investment through British Business Bank programmes.
  • An additional £678m committed through delivery partners to increase supply of finance to the market.
  • The development of a new British Patient Capital programme, providing up to £7.5bn of finance and designed to support high growth potential innovative UK businesses in accessing the long-term financing they require to scale up.
  • In September 2017, the Start Up Loans programme passed a significant milestone, providing its 50,000th loan since its inception in late 2012.
  • The Bank’s flagship Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme passed the £3bn provided milestone in November 2017.
  • Our Enterprise Capital Funds programme’s investment capacity increased to over £1bn for the first time.
  • We launched the £250m Midlands Engine Investment Fund to support businesses across the region.
  • 1

    Measured as activity outside of the big four banks

  • 2

    The Bank’s performance is measured on the basis of the return generated from assets on its own balance as well as the assets it manages that are on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s balance sheet.

Businesses at all stages – whether startups, scaleups or well-established firms – need the right sort of finance to realise their potential. We help the market meet those needs more effectively. The gearing up of our delivery and capability in the last year means we are ready and able to support more businesses across the UK in the future, whatever opportunities and challenges may lie ahead. Keith Morgan CEO of the British Business Bank
We are in a strong position at the end of the 2017/18 financial year, enhancing our infrastructure, our organisation and our delivery to smaller businesses. I look forward to working with the dedicated team at the Bank to help even more businesses to maintain and grow their enormous contribution to the UK economy. Lord Smith of Kelvin Chair of the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18 is accessible at

Download Report (.pdf, 6.85mb) - British Business Bank Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18

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 almost £5.2bn of finance to nearly 75,000 smaller businesses, and participating in a further £7bn of finance to mid-cap businesses (as at end of FY 2017/18).

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 Information Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, including 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 them 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 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.