In July 2010 the chief executives of some of the largest banks and the British Bankers' Association (BBA) set up a Business Finance Taskforce to consider what more could be done to help the UK return to sustainable growth. The initiative followed publication of the government's green paper, 'Financing a private sector recovery' in July 2010.
The Taskforce was particularly keen to help smaller and medium-sized businesses. Taskforce members also considered the likely macroeconomic challenges over the next two to three years and reviewed measures to ease pressures on the availability and cost of wholesale funding so that banks can provide as much support as possible to the UK' economic recovery.
The Taskforce is made up of CEOs and senior representatives from the largest UK banks including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Standard Chartered and the BBA.
The Taskforce published its report and recommendations in October 2010 covering three main areas:
BGF (Business Growth Fund) is one the key recommendations of the Business Finance Taskforce. In order to get BGF up and running quickly the Taskforce banks agreed to act as financial backers of the Fund, providing up to £2.5 billion to help BGF begin investing in suitable businesses.
Work to set up BGF began in October 2010 through a Working Group with membership from all the banks led by HSBC. BGF became operational in April 2011. As an independent company, BGF's investment decisions will not be influenced by the banks or government. Representing a major new initiative, no other comparable organisation exists in the UK for this kind of funding.
Business Growth Fund plc was incorporated on 2 February 2011. The Business Growth Fund plc registered office is at 21 Palmer Street, London SW1H 0AD. It is a company registered in England and Wales, registration no: 7514847. The Business Growth Fund is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.