British Business Bank and ICAEW jointly publish new Business Finance Guide

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New guide highlights range of finance available for business investment

A new guide produced by the British Business Bank and ICAEW sets out the wide variety of sources of finance available to companies at a time when many are planning major investment. Business investment is forecast to grow by 8.2% this year* and businesses of all sizes should be looking at the increasing number of ways to access finance.

The free publication is targeted at everyone from entrepreneurs to company directors and their advisors, and will be launched today by the Business Secretary Vince Cable at a business summit in Parliament on access to finance.

The launch of the new guide comes the day after the Government introduced the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill which includes measures to increase the availability and sources of investment for small businesses by opening up access to small business credit data and to improve larger companies payment practices.

The guide sets out the full range of debt and equity finance options for businesses as they journey from start-up to growth to listing on the stock exchange, and is backed by an unprecedented 19 leading business and finance organisations. It focuses on the market as a whole, offering several tools and ideas to help businesses weigh-up their options, make decisions and plan how they will finance expansion.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“The business finance market is going through a period of rapid change with challenger banks, peer-to-peer lenders and invoice financing gaining traction. But over two-thirds of small and medium sized firms only go to one finance provider, so it’s important businesses know about the huge variety of options open to them.

“This newly-published free guide should be essential reading for all entrepreneurs and directors, and will play a key role in raising awareness of the different types of finance available to start or grow their business.”

Michael Izza, ICAEW’s Chief Executive, said:

“Business investment is forecast to grow by 8.2% this year, up from a previous forecast of 7.1%, and confidence is at a record high. Companies may be wary of less well known sources of finance but this guide aims to answer any questions they have about a wide range of options.”

Keith Morgan, British Business Bank Chief Executive, added:

“It is vitally important that we support the smaller, growing businesses which are so critical to UK economic growth. The British Business Bank is enabling this through its investments, guarantees and lending programmes, and the Business Finance Guide will be a valuable resource to help businesses make informed choices in accessing the finance they need.”

David Petrie, Head of ICAEW Corporate Finance Faculty, said:

“The guide is supported by 19 partner organisations including ICAEW and the British Business Bank – the first time this and happened. Together they represent over 1 million members.”

Companies are advised to seek expert advice when appropriate for the size, type, structure and corporate finance requirements of the business

Further information can be found at

– ENDS –
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*ICAEW Q2 2014 Economic Forecast

Notes to editors:
1. The British Business Bank’s strategic intent is to ensure that finance markets for small and medium-sized businesses work effectively, allowing them to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. It is a key element of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and its programme is already contributing to making the UK the best place in Europe to start, grow and finance a business.
2. British Business Bank plc will operate as a Government-owned financial institution once HM Government has received European Commission state aid clearance, expected later in 2014. Until that point, the British Business Bank programme is being run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The programme is not authorised or regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Recent performance highlights and developments include:

  • £782m of total lending and investment supported in FY 2013-14, over double the level of government support in FY 2012; approximately 55% of this was through non-traditional finance providers.
  • Over 31,000 businesses were benefiting from £1.56bn of lending and investment supported by British Business Bank programmes at the end of FY 2013-14.

British Business Bank also published its Strategic Plan today, describing how the organisation is set up, how it operates and its main areas of activity. The plan also reports on recent progress and developments as well as setting out key financial, risk and other considerations.

3. The Business Finance Guide was produced by ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty and the British Business Bank with contributions from the following organisations:
• Asset Based Finance Association;
• British Bankers Association;
• British Chamber of Commerce;
• British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association;
• CBI;
• EEF;
• Federation of Small Business;
• Finance & Leasing Association;
• Forum of Private Business;
• GrowthAccelerator;
• Institute of Credit Management;
• Institute of Directors;
• London Stock Exchange;
• Peer to Peer Finance Association;
• Quoted Companies Alliance;
• UK Business Angels Association; and
• UK Crowdfunding Association.

4. The ICAEW Corporate Finance Faculty’s professional network includes 6,000 members and more than 70 member organisations. Its membership is drawn from major professional services groups, specialist advisory firms, companies, banks, private equity, venture capital, law firms, brokers, consultants, policy-makers and academic experts. More than 40 per cent of the faculty’s membership is from beyond ICAEW. The faculty is ICAEW’s centre of professional excellence in corporate finance. It contributes to policy development and many consultations by international organisations, governments, regulators and other professional bodies.

5. ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 142,000 chartered accountants worldwide. We provide qualifications and professional development, share our knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

As leaders in accountancy, finance and business our members have the knowledge, skills and commitment to maintain the highest professional standards and integrity. Together we contribute to the success of individuals, organisations, communities and economies around the world.

Because of us, people can do business with confidence.

6. ICAEW is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.