THE British Business Bank has appointed Edward O’Hara as its new chief risk officer.
He joins from The Commonwealth Trade Bank, where he served in a similar role since 2017.
O’Hara (pictured) has had an extensive career in risk and strategic leadership positions in a wide variety of international banking and finance institutions, including in the UK, USA, Poland and Bulgaria, the state-backed development bank said.
He replaces Mark Gray, who left the role in February.
“O’Hara joins the British Business Bank at an exciting time for our organisation, which is going through an ongoing and rapid expansion,” Keith Morgan, chief executive of the British Business Bank, said.
“As we do so, it’s important that we continually assess and mitigate against our key risks as we seek to deliver more of the finance that smaller UK businesses need to fulfil their potential.”
O’Hara said he was looking forward to working “alongside such a motivated and dynamic team to help the bank in its mission to make finance markets work better for smaller businesses.”
There have been plenty of changes at the British Business Bank recently.
In April it opened its ENABLE Guarantee programme to non-bank lenders, including asset-based lending providers.
Under the programme, the UK government takes on a portion of the lender’s risk on a portfolio of loans to smaller businesses, in return for a fee. The state-backed development bank has so far committed guarantees of more than £900m under the programme.
The programme was previously only open to UK banks and UK branches of foreign banks. The extension means that a broader range of smaller finance providers, including asset finance and asset-based lending providers, are now eligible.