Bank raises £30m to boost British SMEs

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British Business Investments, the commercial arm of Sheffield-based British Business Bank, has committed £30 million to help SMEs.

The £30 million has been pledged at the Shard Credit Partners first direct lending fund with £90 million of commitments.

The fund will provide loans of £5-15 million to UK SMEs with turnover of less than £100 million.

British Business Investments is providing the funding under its Investment Programme, which has now committed £700 million to providers of finance to UK smaller businesses. The programme helps to widen the choice of funding SMEs can find on the market.

Shard Credit Partners is seeking to raise additional commitments for the fund in 2018.

Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Investments, said: “British Business Investments is committed to providing capital to direct lending funds focused on SME lending, where there is a continued under-serve by banks and other lenders.

“We are pleased to make this commitment to Shard Credit Partners as it launches its first fund, and look forward to seeing new finance made available to SMEs throughout the UK.”

Alastair Brown, Chief Executive of Shard Credit Partners, added: “We are delighted to have held a first close and greatly appreciate the support of our investors, which includes a significant £30 million commitment from British Business Investments.

“We can now focus on providing much needed flexible loan capital to help small businesses invest in their own growth and expansion plans, supporting job creation and growth in the critically important SME segment of the UK economy.”