SMEs to benefit from BBB’s extended finance programme

SMEs are soon to benefit from the British Business Bank’s (BBB) Enterprise Finance Guarantee, which is being extended to support lending from alternative finance providers.

The BBB’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) accreditation process for new lenders is now open.

Lenders, including asset finance providers, are able to apply to the programme, with the aim of increasing the number and diversity of lenders offering EFG-supported borrowing facilities to smaller businesses.

This re-opening of EFG lender accreditation is in response to one of the recommendations from the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Strategic and Operational Design Review 2015/6, published in April this year. The objective of the review was to maximise the support that EFG offers small businesses.

The review highlighted the need for an increase in the number and diversity of EFG accredited lenders and a broadening of the range of products EFG could support.

The review made several other recommendations, including engaging further with the asset finance sector (and asset finance providers). The British Business Bank is working with the Finance & Leasing Association to widen the scope of EFG to include support for asset finance lending.

British Business Bank managing director of lending solutions Judith Ozcan said: “We look forward to welcoming new lenders onto the already-successful Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme. EFG has, since its launch in 2009, supported the provision of more than £2.7bn of finance to more than 25,000 smaller businesses in the UK.

“The expansion of the programme is in response to a key recommendation from the recent review and will help in delivering BBB’s corporate objectives to increase the supply of finance to smaller businesses and to create a more diverse and vibrant finance market.”