October 30th, 2018.

At the Autumn Budget 2018, the Chancellor announced several measures relating to the British Business Bank. Together they represent a substantial package that further underlines the expanding role of the Bank in delivering for smaller businesses across the UK.

Keith Morgan, British Business Bank Chief Executive explains:

Start Up Loans

We welcome the Government’s commitment to funding the Start Up Loans programme until 2021. This is good news for start-up businesses across the UK, and the extension of funding will enable us to work with our delivery partner network to continue to improve the successful delivery of the programme.

ENABLE Guarantees for SME Housebuilders
The Chancellor announced that the government will make available up to £1bn of guarantee support via specialist and high street lenders to smaller housebuilders, to be deployed through a variant of the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Guarantee programme. This will allow for the continued expansion of the programme in the sector and will promote further growth in the UK housing stock. We will work closely with MHCLG and Homes England on the delivery of this initiative.

Access to Finance and EU Exit
The government continues to actively explore options for a future relationship with the European Investment Bank Group (including the European Investment Fund), which has invested in UK small business debt and equity markets. The Chancellor announced that if no future relationship with the EIB Group is in place when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the Government will provide the British Business Bank with the resources to enable it to make up to £200m additional investment in venture capital and growth finance in 2019/20.

Patient Capital and Defined Contribution Pension Schemes

Following our implementation of the recommendations of last year’s Patient Capital Review, the Bank will chair a feasibility study to explore options for facilitating pooled investment in patient capital by large defined contribution pension schemes. This would be another important source of capital and would bolster other efforts to make more patient capital available for innovative companies across the UK led by ambitious entrepreneurs who want to build successful, world-class businesses.

UK Network
We were pleased to see that the UK Network was referred to in the Budget text, underlining the importance of this initiative. The new UK Network is being developed by the Bank across each of the English regions and the three Devolved Administrations – Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland – to identify and help to reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK.

Intellectual Property Research
Alongside today’s Budget, the British Business Bank has published research conducted in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) into the barriers to high growth, IP-rich firms using their intellectual property to access growth funding, and how these may be overcome.

We will be working closely with HM Treasury, BEIS and UKGI to implement the measures announced in the Autumn Budget over the months ahead.