British Business Bank Braves Losses, Funds £1.6bn Amid Economic Turmoil

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The British Business Bank (BBB), a state-owned entity, has suffered a sudden annual pre-tax loss surpassing £147m. Confronted with complex economic issues, the bank’s investments in various enterprises have witnessed a significant valuation dip.

Nevertheless, the bank successfully sealed funding agreements valued at £1.6bn within the same year. Remarkably, this achievement came amidst a strenuous economic landscape. Set up back in 2014, the prime directive of BBB has been to extend monetary assistance and acquire shares in smaller UK firms, fostering their initial start-up phase and subsequent expansions.

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Unfortunately, the past year till March end has registered a 5% dip in the bank’s investment value, translating to a massive £146m. A stark contrast to the previous year’s lucrative returns of £619m. Multiple technology firms across the globe have experienced devaluation as circumspect investors grapple with escalating borrowing costs and feeble economic growth.

BBB’s chief executive, Louis Taylor, expressed his optimism stating that due to the mostly long-term 10-year investment horizon, a general upward trend is anticipated despite the occasional fluctuations.

Moreover, the bank has surpassed its £10.7bn target, achieving a staggering total funding of £12.4bn that has successfully backed over 90,000 businesses. This figure, however, does not accommodate the Coronavirus loans the bank is responsible for administering.

Notably, BBB is in charge of administering three government-supported Covid-19 loan schemes as well as the Future Fund. Collectively, these initiatives have delivered over £80bn in finance to nearly 1.7 million businesses.

The Future Fund made headlines after directing taxpayer money to invest in organizations such as Bolton Wanderers Football Club and sex party planner, Killing Kittens.

BBB’s Start Up Loans programme recently achieved £1bn in lending. Importantly, over half of these funds went to small businesses managed by women and ethnic minorities. The scheme’s primary objective is to aid underrepresented groups often overlooked by mainstream lenders.

With a majority of funding obtained from lenders outside the UK’s ‘big five’ banks, it’s evident that emerging business ventures require a reliable source of investment to thrive.

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