The British Business Bank is opening its ENABLE Guarantee programme to all banks that lend to smaller UK businesses, following completion of the first transaction under the scheme.

The programme encourages participating banks to lend more to smaller businesses by reducing the capital they need to hold to support such lending.

The first transaction, with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, will support £125 million of new lending to smaller businesses, of which at least £50 million will go to products and industry segments the banks have not previously covered, including cash flow lending for small and medium-sized enterprises and creating an emerging technology lending unit.

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said on 26 March: “I set up the British Business Bank to give small businesses access to alternative finance schemes that were badly needed. It is delivering and is supporting £1.8 billion of finance to over 43,000 smaller businesses.

“This new guarantee programme will make it easier for challenger banks to lend to small businesses and help to accelerate the transformation of UK banking into a more dynamic and competitive marketplace.”

Keith Morgan, chief executive of the British Business Bank added: “Our ENABLE programme represents a significant scaling up of our firepower in making finance markets work better. The funding unlocked by the programme will make a real difference to smaller UK businesses.”

Link: British Business Bank

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