Robert Owen Community Banking Fund Accredited under the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee Programme

Press release 28 February 2019

The British Business Bank today announces the accreditation of Robert Owen Community Banking Fund (ROCBF) as a lender for the term loan variant of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Programme.

Based in Newtown, Mid Wales, ROCBF has recently launched an enhanced range of ethical loans for businesses, individuals and communities across Wales. These business loans, ranging from £1000 to £50,000, are available to support a spectrum of local enterprises.

Their new EFG accreditation will enable ROCBF to increase still further their provision of finance to smaller businesses that might otherwise struggle to obtain the finance they need.

The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Programme facilitates business finance to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain finance from their lender due to having inadequate security to meet the lender’s normal credit requirements.

Since its launch in 2009, EFG has supported the provision of over 30,300 facilities to a value of over £3.2bn (as at end December 2018). It provides lenders such as ROCBF with a government-backed guarantee of 75% of the outstanding balance of eligible facilities, allowing lenders to broaden their reach to smaller businesses potentially enabling a “no” credit decision from a lender to become a “yes”.

This is a very exciting development for us and is the latest building block in our three-year growth and expansion plan. The EFG accreditation from the British Business Bank potentially opens the door for applicants across a range of business types and activities. There is a huge, untapped pool of enterprise in Wales, and this will be an important tool in helping us unlock their potential. Mark White Chief Executive Officer, Robert Owen Community Banking Fund
The accreditation of Robert Owen Community Banking Fund shows our continued commitment to increasing the diversity of smaller business finance in the UK, including by supporting smaller lenders. A diverse finance market means that smaller businesses may benefit from more choices and better terms that increased competition can offer. This accreditation will help ROCBF’s ability to increase lending to this important part of the smaller business finance market. Jim McAuley Director, Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions at British Business Bank

Accreditation under EFG comes at an exciting time for ROCBF, having recently been confirmed as host for the Enterprise Hub for Mid Wales at its Newtown base, announced the as part of the Welsh Government’s drive to support business entrepreneurs across Wales.

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 £5.9bn of finance to over 82,000 smaller businesses (as at end of September 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.

The accreditation of Robert Owen Community Banking Fund does not amount to any endorsement or warranty from British Business Financial Services Limited, the British Business Bank plc, or the government of the UK.

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Programme is administered by British Business Financial Services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc.

About Robert Owen Community Banking Fund

Robert Owen Community Banking Fund is a not-for-profit lender for local businesses, people and communities across Wales.

ROCBF is based in Newtown, Powys, the birthplace of 19th Century social reformer Robert Owen, who fathered the Cooperative Movement. Like their namesake, they believe that by supporting basic principles of fairness, accountability and cooperation, they can help build a more mutually prosperous society.

Robert Owen Community Banking is a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) and is a member of Responsible Finance.

The organisation aims to provide investment opportunities for businesses, charities and local authorities based on their ethical values.

Robert Owen Community Banking Fund website