LONDON, Feb. 25 -- The British Department for Business, Innovation & Skills issued the following news release:
The British Business Bank (http://british-business-bank.co.uk/) programme confirmed today (25 February 2014) that it is making a new GBP40 million investment to support further lending to smaller businesses through peer-to-peer lender Funding Circle (https://www.fundingcircle.com/homepage). This investment will start on 1 March 2014 and is expected to support around GBP450 million of lending over the next 18 months.
This builds on an earlier investment of GBP20 million in Funding Circle in December 2012 through the Business Finance Partnership (BFP), a scheme which led to the current Business Bank Investment Programme. That funding has resulted in GBP130 million being lent to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through Funding Circle, including:
* Bramley & Gage, a manufacturer of gin and fruit liqueurs, borrowed GBP25,000 from 248 people in the UK including the government, to purchase a new gin still to increase production
* Moo Free Chocolate, a manufacturer of dairy free and gluten free chocolate, borrowed GBP60,000 to purchase machinery and ingredients to increase production
* Kaizen, a luxury furniture manufacturer, borrowed GBP100,000 to expand and fuel growth
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
* The Business Bank is helping to support serious volumes of lending to small and medium sized businesses through new finance providers. Too much business lending is concentrated in the big banks and, if we're to have a properly functioning business lending market, they need to be challenged by new banks, peer-to-peer lenders and other alternative providers.
Peter Wilson, Managing Director of the British Business Bank's Investment Programme said:
* The pace is really starting to build in terms of the momentum of our commitments and the impact that our Investment Programmes are making. The pipeline of future commitments is strong and we are seeing continuing interest through new applications to the programme.
To date, total commitments made under the current Investment Programme stand at GBP85 million, which together will help to support over GBP550 million of new lending capacity for smaller businesses. The GBP87 million allocated under the Business Finance Partnership forerunner of the Investment Programme has already supported almost GBP200 million of lending to smaller businesses. A total of 10 alternative lenders have so far been supported through these schemes.
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