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British Business Investments – Full year results for the period ending 31 March 2019

Press release 16 October 2019

British Business Investments, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK’s national economic development bank, today publishes its Annual Report and Accounts for 2018/19, its fifth year of operation.

Key highlights for 2018/19 include:

  • A gross annual income of £82m generated, delivering a pre-tax profit of £71m– an increase of 4.4% on 2017/18
  • A gross return on average capital employed for the year of 6.5%, or 5.6% net of costs, ahead of benchmarks of 5.6% and 5.0% respectively
  • Supporting over 34,000 small and medium sized business (SMEs) across the UK as at 31 March 2019, an increase of 28% on 31 March 2018
  • At 31 March 2019, British Business Investments had invested £1.1bn through 46 portfolio investments.

In the 2018/19 financial year, British Business Investments delivered strongly against the objectives set by its sole shareholder, British Business Bank plc, by supporting the development of diverse debt and equity finance markets in the following ways:

  1. Promoted competition and increased supply of finance through new and existing providers – making seven new commitments totalling almost £200m in 2018/19, including to four new partners, bringing its total number of portfolio investments to 46.
  2. Increased the level of finance for UK SMEs – at 31 March 2019, we were supporting £11.4bn of finance through our programmes in the UK market – an increase of 9.4% since 31 March 2018 – invested in 34,070 businesses.
  3. Delivered a commercial return to its shareholder in excess of benchmarks – a 6.5% gross return on capital invested (0.9% above benchmark), and a 5.6% net return (0.6% above benchmark).

British Business Investments invests in non-bank lenders – 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 to increase the choice of finance for SMEs. At the same time, it generates an attractive commercial return on investment for the UK taxpayer while having an economic impact by increasing the supply of capital available for small and medium-sized businesses.

We are pleased to report a strong set of results for the 2018/2019 financial year, with a solid return on investment for our shareholder, the British Business Bank.

In the 2018/19 financial year, we exceeded all of the objectives our shareholder set, and I look forward to continuing that success as we further develop the business.

Catherine Lewis La Torre CEO of British Business Investments

By working with a broad portfolio of finance providers, we can help to increase the choice of funding options available so that a wide range of businesses can find the most suitable finance for their needs.

British Business Investments has played an important role in helping the British Business Bank achieve its overall objectives this year, including increasing both supply and diversity of funding and helping to reduce regional imbalances in access to finance.

Keith Morgan Chair of British Business Investments

Further Information

Notes to editors

About British Business Investments

British Business Investments is the trading name of British Business Investments Ltd, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, the UK government’s economic development bank. It forms part of the British Business Bank’s commercial arm.

British Business Investments aims to earn a commercial return by investing – through finance providers – in smaller businesses and small mid-caps, pursuing investments on a fully commercial basis without receiving any economic advantage from the government. Find out more at

British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. Neither British Business Bank nor its principal operating subsidiaries are authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.