Business Bank Advisors Appointed

Vince Cable has announced that a group of "big hitters" have been appointed to the Advisory Board of the British Business Bank.

The Business Bank already has Sir Peter Burt, the former CEO of the Bank of Scotland, as its chair and today adds five more members.

Lucy Armstrong is the Chief Executive of business organisation The Alchemists, chair of the CBI’s SME Council and also chair of Capital for Enterprise Limited (CfEL).

Brendan Barber is the former General Secretary of the TUC

Caroline Green is the Finance Director at Metalrax Group

Stephen Welton is Chief Executive of the Business Growth Fund plc

And the final appointment is Baroness Patience Wheatcroft who is non-executive director of Fiat SpA and of St James’s Place Plc, and advisory board member of Huawei Plc and Pelham Bell Pottinger.

All five appointees fulfill the role of being experts in their field and having significant experience in corporate and SME business management, finance, governance or risk management. All advisory members will be unpaid.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said of the appointments;

“The business bank’s advisory group, chaired by Sir Peter Burt, is a great example of the kind of modern leadership we are trying to encourage in British companies today. Half of the group are women and half of the group are directly involved in SME finance.”

The Business Bank’s Chair, Sir Peter Burt, added:

“The advisory group has a major task but we have been assured of support from all quarters. Over the past 25 or more years, no government has put enough weight behind attempts to finding a solution to the SME finance problem, but I hope that this time there will be the necessary concerted effort.”

“We cannot create a business bank overnight, but BIS has sufficient powers and approvals to immediately start getting money into the SME sector and this will be a major focus at the same time as the task of advising on and laying the foundations of a long-term provider of support for the SME sector.”

The bank secured one billion pounds of Government money last year with the Autumn statement confirming the release of £300 million of funding over the next two years.

Rather than acting as a traditional bank, the business bank will bring all government initiatives together "under one roof" so that SMEs can have a "one stop shop" from where to get all their financial services. The business bank will also utilise private sector expertise to deliver its services.

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