Budget 2020: British Business Bank Response

Keith Morgan, Chief Executive, British Business Bank, said: “At Budget 2020, the Chancellor has announced new measures relating to the British Business Bank. Together they represent a significant package of funding that further underlines the critical role of the Bank in making finance markets work better for smaller businesses across the UK, allowing them to prosper and grow. The announcements include:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered via the British Business Bank to support the continued provision of finance to UK businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak, will temporarily replace the Bank’s well-established Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme with an additional £1bn being made available on top of existing support offered through the programme. It will operate in a similar way to EFG but on more attractive terms for both businesses and lenders. We will be working closely with our current EFG delivery partners and government to implement the package of enhancements, so that the new scheme is available in the coming weeks.

Start Up Loans

We welcome the Government’s extension of funding for the Start Up Loans programme until March 2022, ahead of plans to expand the programme being set out at the upcoming Spending Review this year. This is good news for start-up businesses across the country. The extension of funding will enable the programme to provide up to 10,000 more loans to new and early stage businesses, working with our delivery partner network across the whole of the UK.

Financing High-Growth Firms

The UK is creating more start-ups and attracting more venture capital funding than any other European country. We are therefore pleased that the Chancellor has provided the British Business Bank with a further £400m to back businesses that are scaling-up. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ensuring that innovative firms can access the finance they need to grow.

  • Health and Life Sciences

Within this allocation, the Budget has provided the British Business Bank with £200m of funding specifically to make equity investments in health and life sciences. We expect this to attract a further £400m of private investment, enabling us to deliver the £600m investment programme announced by the Prime Minister in October 2019. We are committed to launching this programme within a year. It will support the large-scale venture growth funds our country needs to further build our successful life sciences industry, so that the UK can continue to be a world-leader in health and life sciences innovation.

  • Innovative high-growth firms

The remaining £200m has been provided to enable the UK’s high growth businesses to take full advantage of new opportunities now that the UK has left the EU. This is a continuation of the additional support provided in April 2019, and will be deployed through our venture capital and growth finance funding partners during 2020/21 to ensure that innovative British firms can access more of the finance they need to grow.

As always, we will be working closely with HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UKGI to implement the measures announced in the Budget over the months ahead.”


Further information

Scott Shearer

Senior Communications Manager

0203 772 1351 / 07770 704 761

Mary Whenman

Director, Communications

0203 905 1495 / 07799 860 980

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 programmes are supporting more than £7.2bn of finance to over 93,000 smaller businesses (as at end of September 2019).

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 Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at
  • 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, none of which are 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.