Over the last few years, the Government has been working with the private sector to develop initiatives to stimulate the market for small business lending. There have been a number of initiatives including the British Finance Partnership, which lent £20 million through Funding Circle from March 2013.
In September 2012, it was announced that a new institution - the British Business Bank - would be developed to support economic growth, by increasing choice of finance for small and medium sized businesses.
A request for proposals was issued in April 2013 for their Investment Programme. Following the application process, BIS announced that they would be lending £40 million to small businesses through Funding Circle in February 2014. In January 2017, the British Business Bank committed a further £40 million to lend alongside other investors. As of January 2017, over 10,000 businesses had benefited from the combined £60 million in lending from both initiatives.
The British Business Bank Investments Ltd is the commercial arm of the British Business Bank, a development bank wholly owned by the UK Government. In 2017, British Business Bank Investments Ltd committed £40 million, in addition to its £40 million commitment in 2014, alongside other investors, to support economic growth by providing more efficient finance to smaller businesses.