British Business Investments – A record year of commitments worth £473m

by Rebecca Tomes

British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, today publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/21.

Key highlights include:

  • A record number of 18 commitments to new and existing delivery partners, totalling £473m
  • In its seventh year of operation, cumulative commitments are up 19% year-on-year to over £3bn
  • Support for almost 30,000 smaller businesses across the UK, 85% of which are outside of London
  • A strong returns performance, delivering pre-tax profit of £107.4m


Judith Hartley, CEO, British Business Investments, said: “We are pleased to report a strong performance by British Business Investments during 2020/21 and a record year in terms of a number of new commitments and diversification of our portfolio. We have continued to make commitments throughout the pandemic, as we wanted to help ensure the UK’s smaller businesses could continue to access finance. We are now invested in every nation and region of the UK, and are supporting almost 30,000 small businesses, 85% of which are located outside London. Our financial performance has also been strong this year, with pre-tax profit of £107.4m”

In 2020/21, British Business Investments continued to deliver strongly against the four objectives set by its parent, British Business Bank plc:

  1. Increase the supply of finance to smaller businesses across the UK: As at 31 March 2021, British Business Investments had made total commitments of over £3bn to finance providers to support funding to UK smaller businesses since its inception in 2014. New commitments in 20/21 were £473m. Third parties invest alongside us and in addition to our new commitments of £473m, they have invested a further £1.23bn, meaning that total funding of more than £1.7bn has been delivered to the UK market this financial year.
  2. Help to create a more diverse finance market: In 2020/21, British Business Investments made 18 commitments, including to nine new delivery partners. This increases total portfolio investments to 77, up from 59 last year, through 50 different delivery partners.
  3. Identify and help to address regional imbalances in access to finance: British Business Investments is providing funding to almost 30,000 businesses, 85% of which are based outside of London.
  4. Manage taxpayer’s money efficiently, whilst generating a commercial rate of return: Income from investments was £120.5m, delivering pre-tax profit of £107.4m, compared to £35.4m and £22.2m respectively in the previous financial year


Francis Small, Chair of British Business Investments, said: “As the pandemic tested the UK economy, British Business Investments continued to invest to make sure finance was available to support smaller businesses. By remaining alert to its impact on the UK’s smaller businesses and our delivery partners, we were able to adapt our response throughout the year. Consequently, we’ve achieved strong results in extremely challenging circumstances.”

British Business Investments supports the development of more diverse debt and equity finance markets throughout the UK. To increase the choice of finance for smaller businesses, British Business Investments provides funding through a wide range of finance providers – including peer to peer lenders, small-cap private debt funds, challenger banks, asset finance providers, equity funds-of-funds and regionally-based early-stage investors.

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