Covid-19 emergency loan schemes offered £80.4bn of finance to UK businesses

The British Business Bank’s financial support to smaller businesses has increased by more than £80bn during the last financial year, now standing at nearly £89bn.

Most of the funds were related to the bank’s Covid-19 emergency finance schemes, which offered £80.4bn of finance to almost 1.7 million UK businesses.

The bank’s core programmes, which accounted for the remaining £8.5bn, were largely delivered though smaller, newer, or alternative finance providers (94.5%), exceeding its 94% target.

Its flow of gross deployment outside of London stood at £943m, 8% above its target of £868m.

In addition, the British Business Bank added 78 new delivery partners across its programmes, bringing the total number of providers it was working with to 218 at the end of March 2021.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO at the British Business Bank, said: “Throughout 2020/21, in response to the pandemic, the British Business Bank performed a role vital to the UK government, finance markets, and the economy as a whole. 

“We look forward to using our unique position in the market to support businesses further as they recover and return to growth once more, thereby rebuilding the foundations of the UK’s future prosperity.”

Lord Smith of Kelvin, chair at the British Business Bank, added: “Our job now is to help businesses during the recovery period and beyond, strengthening the economy in the process. 

“We are emerging from the pandemic more resilient and capable than ever, ready and willing to help more UK businesses to prosper and grow sustainably.”

As part of its revised mission, the British Business Bank aims to drive sustainable growth across the UK and enable the transition to a net zero economy by improving access to finance for smaller businesses.

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