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Peer2Peer Finance News | September 23, 2019

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British Business Bank appoints director for the North and Midlands

British Business Bank appoints director for the North and Midlands
Marc Shoffman

THE BRITISH Business Bank has named Geoff Whiteland (pictured) as a UK network director for the North of England and the Midlands.

The state-backed development bank said on Tuesday that it is establishing a UK network, with team members based around the country.

The aim of the network is to try and reduce imbalances in access to finance for small businesses across the UK.

Read more: UK small businesses unsure of growth strategies

By having a UK network of directors, the bank hopes it will be able to gain a deeper understanding of how small businesses work across the country and how it can better support them.

It was first suggested as part of the government’s modern industrial strategy in November 2017.

“I am very happy to be joining the UK Network, and look forward to building on my existing relationships to promote lasting connections between the British Business Bank and the business finance ecosystem in the North and the Midlands,’ said Whiteland.

“By enhancing these connections with local businesses, their advisers, funders and other intermediaries – as well as public and private partners – we will enable smaller businesses to seek the finance best suited to their needs,” he added.

Whiteland has worked at the bank since 2015, first at the ‘Help to Grow’ scheme before becoming an originations director within the guarantee and wholesale solutions department.

Read more: P2P could be better match for small businesses, says FSB

Prior to that, he worked at a number of UK banks in corporate, small- and medium-sized enterprise and structured finance roles.

“I am delighted to welcome Geoff to the British Business Bank’s new UK Network, where he will be able to leverage his existing knowledge of the Bank and its programmes,” said Judith Hartley, managing director of the UK network.

“Geoff is joining this newly-created team at an exciting stage in its development.”

The UK network is part of the bank’s new demand development unit, which incorporates the recently-launched finance hub, an area focussed on raising awareness of the finance options available small businesses.

The bank is currently supporting more than £5.5bn of finance to over 78,000 smaller businesses, including through peer-to-peer lenders such as Funding Circle and MarketInvoice. It is wholly owned by the government and it operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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