British Business Bank Launches Initial Phase of Help to Grow

  • Lloyds Banking Group announced as delivery partner for first £30 million of lending supported by Help to Grow
  • Help to Grow’s initial phase to support around £200 million in new lending over its first two years
  • Programme is supported by the European Investment Fund

The British Business Bank has today launched the initial phase of Help to Grow, which is expected to support around £200m of growth loans in its first two years. The Prime Minister announced the programme in February 2015.

The first £30m tranche of lending supported by Help to Grow will be available to growing businesses through Lloyds Banking Group.

Loans of up to £2 million will support the development of new products and processes, stimulate research and innovation and help businesses target new export markets.

The lending will be available to businesses across all sectors, and is expected to benefit most those with high levels of innovation and growth ambition – such as manufacturing businesses, creative industries and the technology sector.

The initial phase of Help to Grow was increased from £100m to £200m in the Chancellor’s Budget in March 2016.

Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank, said:

“This first £30m of the British Business Bank’s Help to Grow programme will enable innovative and ambitious smaller businesses to raise the debt they need to fund their growth opportunities. It is an important milestone for the British Business Bank in our ambitions to encourage and support UK businesses to scale-up and achieve their potential.

“We want to replicate the drive and dynamism evident in the UKs start-up culture in later stages of the small business journey, and Help To Grow has a critical role to play in achieving that.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and to be working with the European Investment Fund to bring this vitally important finance to the UK market.”

Chris Loring, Managing Director of Lending Products, Lloyds Banking Group said:

“Lloyds Banking Group is committed to helping small business and Help to Grow is just one of the ways which will help us to continue to grow our lending to more of the UK’s fastest growing companies.

“We are excited to be the first bank to deliver this £30m tranche of Help to Grow which will help ambitious businesses become more innovative, access new international markets and help Britain prosper.”

EIF’s Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said:

“The British Business Bank is one of our key partners in the UK and we are delighted to expand our cooperation by signing this EFSI InnovFin SME Guarantee agreement for the benefit of innovative SMEs.

“This new transaction will allow innovative UK companies to have access to a new funding source. This year alone together with the British Business Bank, we have committed well over £200m to UK SMEs”.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said:

“The EIF’s collaboration with the British Business Bank – which is supported by the Investment Plan for Europe – is very important. The UK is full of innovative start-ups and small businesses which require a helping hand to grow their companies, and today’s news will certainly help many aspirations become a reality.”

The InnovFin counter-guarantee agreement between EIF and British Business Finance Limited (BBFL) for the initial £30m tranche of the ‘Help to Grow’ programme will enable BBFL to provide guarantees to Lloyds Banking Group on bank loans to innovative companies in the United Kingdom over the next two years.

The agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

By UKBAA 23 May 2016