Vince Cable’s business bank launches with £300m fund

THE GOVERNMENT’S business bank was unveiled yesterday, with state funding worth £300m designed to boost lending to small and medium sized businesses.

All investments will be made in conjunction with private sector lenders, with the government providing a maximum of 50 per cent of each investment.

Businesses who want to bid for the cash are encouraged to apply by the end of May, with the first transactions expected to be made in the autumn.

“Small and medium sized businesses are still telling me that access to finance is their number one problem, preventing them from investing and growing,” said business secretary Vince Cable.

“That’s why through the business bank we are developing a range of measures to provide businesses with the power to choose the type of finance that suits them.”

Yesterday’s announcement is the first slice of a total £1bn worth of funding allocated to the new business bank. The full-blown organisation is expected to be completely operational by mid-2014.