British Business Bank publishes first performance data for the third iteration of the Recovery Loan Scheme

Press release 21 May 2024

More than half of the £1.15bn of supported lending used for business investment and growth.

More than 90% of the guaranteed facilities have supported the smallest borrowers.

The British Business Bank today publishes the first performance data for the third iteration of its Recovery Loan Scheme.

The third iteration of the Recovery Loan Scheme was launched in August 2022, supporting the British Business Bank’s ongoing commitment to promote sustainable, accessible funding for UK smaller businesses, enabling them to invest and grow.

Total offered lending for this iteration of the scheme is close to £1.4bn, with more than 6,000 smaller businesses drawing more than £1.15bn of finance so far.

Key findings

The scheme is successfully targeting the smallest businesses, who are most likely to face barriers in accessing finance:

  • More than 90% of the guaranteed facilities supported businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
    • Of that 90%, more than 65% of facilities were provided to businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
  • More than 87% of the guaranteed facilities have gone to businesses with less than £5m turnover.

More than 50% of drawn lending has been designated for business investment and growth purposes, and a third for working capital.

The Recovery Loan Scheme was an important intervention at a critical time for UK smaller businesses. What this data publication demonstrates is just how important it has been to delivering growth and working capital across our Nations and regions, and we are looking forward to its transition to the Growth Guarantee Scheme in Summer 2024. Reinald de Monchy Managing Director, Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions, British Business Bank

The Recovery Loan Scheme is a government-backed credit guarantee scheme designed to support access to finance for UK businesses as they look to invest and grow.

The scheme aims to help smaller businesses across the UK, with turnover of up to £45m, access finance they would have been unlikely to access commercially, on equivalent terms. Businesses can use the finance for any legitimate business purpose – including managing cashflow, investment in new equipment or vehicles, perhaps to support the transition to net zero, and growth through new products or expansion. However, businesses must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes.

It can support facility sizes of up to £2m for borrowers outside the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol (i.e. the majority of UK businesses). Borrowers in scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol may borrow up to £1m, unless they operate in a sector where aid limits are reduced – in which case the maximum that can be borrowed is lower. These include agriculture, fisheries / aquaculture, and road freight haulage.

The first two phases of the scheme, designed to support access to finance and growth for UK businesses as they recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic, enabled £4.3bn of finance.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Spring Budget 2024 that the scheme, which was due to end on 30 June 2024, would be extended for two years until 31 March 2026, and renamed the Growth Guarantee Scheme.

Read more on the full performance report.


Further Information

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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 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 £12.4bn1  of finance to more than 90,000 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 £80.4bn in finance to 1.67m 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


  • 1

    Figures as at end March 2023

  • 2

    Figures as at end March 2023