State-owned British Business Bank reports £135m loss on portfolio

British Business Bank loss Image credit: Clare Louise Jackson / Shutterstock

State-owned investment group British Business Bank (BBB) has reported an annual loss of £135.3m following a drop in its portfolio value.

The economic development bank, founded in 2014 to back UK SMEs, said the loss was due to a “challenging economic environment” over the last financial year.

Louis Taylor, CEO of British Business Bank said the loss was an “expected” result of a “drop in valuations across our portfolio” as a resulted of wider economic trends.

Despite the loss, Taylor said the bank’s focus was more long-term, with the bulk of investments having a “10-year horizon” and so he remained confident of an “overall upward trajectory despite these in-year fluctuations”.

“After the pandemic, we have re-focused on the UK’s future economic growth as we deliver against our new strategic objectives from 2023/24,” Taylor said.

“These are: driving sustainable growth, backing innovation, unlocking potential, and building the modern, green economy.

“We will continue to put our customers at the heart of everything we do, investing through the cycle to support the UK’s smaller businesses as they start up and grow.”

BBB said that it had surpassed its financial year target of increasing the supply of finance to smaller businesses to £10.7bn, as the core finance programmes of the bank hit £12.4bn across 90.000 businesses.

This year it has allocated a combined £350m for funds in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The group in August signed a £12m co-investment initiative with Scottish angel investor syndicate Archangels that would see future funding handed out be supported by BBB.