The UK’s national economic development bank pumped £9.2bn into small businesses last year, a 24 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
The British Business Bank’s 2016/17 accounts show it recorded an increase, to four per cent, of adjusted return on capital employed, surpassing government targets.
During the year, the BBB launched its first regionally-focused fund, the £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, and was awarded £400m in the autumn Budget to support later-stage venture capital.
The BBB said it has now given loans or investments to more than 59,000 small and medium sized companies.
Chief executive Keith Morgan said: “Over the past year, we have delivered strongly against our four key performance indicators, broadening our support to provide more finance and extra choice for smaller businesses, at all stages of their growth.
“It has been a year of significant expansion for the bank and, as our market impact continues to grow, we are well placed to respond flexibly to challenges ahead, helping to increase the amount and range of finance available to smaller UK businesses.”