British Business Bank says taxpayers will benefit from losses

British Business Bank says taxpayers will benefit from losses

The government-owned British Business Bank has said British taxpayers will benefit from the long-term benefits of plugging billions of pounds into small firms after revealing that the company swung to a loss of more than £147m last year.

The UK's economic development bank said it was impacted by wider economic difficulties which resulted in a drop in the valuation of firms it invests in.

The company reported a pre-tax loss of £147.3m to the end of March, compared to a profit of £604.8m the previous year.

The bank, which lends to and buys shares in smaller UK companies to help them start and grow, made £1.6bn of funding agreements during the past year.

The total figure does not include the Covid-19 loans, which were managed by the British Business Bank.

The UK taxpayers, who support the bank, have not lost any money, Mr Taylor said.

Mr Taylor said: 'I think we generate a good return for the taxpayer.

Bank said it had been impacted by a decline in the market valuations of companies, particularly in the technology sector, which saw valuations cut after the pandemic.

The firms said they were expecting the decline in valuations and a result of a loss after investing more in recent years.

The bank's Start Up Loans program recently reached a milestone of £1bn in lending, with more than half the funding going to small businesses run by women and ethnic minorities.

The initiative targets underrepresented groups who are excluded from mainstream finance to help them start business, and regions outside of London and the South East.

Nearly all its funding is given by providers outside of the 'big five' British banks.

Taylor said he would like to see the re-establishment of the National Rehabilitation Hospital, which he chaired for 15 years.

UK small businesses are feeling more cautious now, he said, due to higher interest rates and uncertainty over the future of the economy.

There is dynamism among the caution, he said, with businesses launched in all corners of the UK.