THE BRITISH Business Bank (BBB) has appointed Warren Ralls as UK network director for the South and East of England.
The UK Network is part of the BBB’s new demand development unit created to raise the state-owned development bank’s profile and relationship with smaller businesses throughout the country.
Dedicated to making finance markets work better for small businesses, the BBB has established a UK network with teams based in each English region, as well as in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland. The network works to enhance business finance ecosystems across the
UK so that smaller businesses can grow. It also enables the bank to better understand small business finance markets so that it can better support small businesses.
Ralls (pictured) will represent the UK network across the South and East of England, engaging closely with local business finance intermediaries.
The BBB’s demand development unit includes the bank’s recently launched finance hub which aims to raise awareness of finance options available for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the UK. It offers guidance for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses.
“I am thrilled to be helping smaller businesses across the UK to be better informed about how to access sources of investment at all stages of their development, as highlighted in the government’s industrial strategy,” said Ralls.
Judith Hartley, managing director for UK Network said: “I am confident he will be a great addition to the team as we work to help identify and reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across those regions.”
Prior to joining BBB, Ralls was for the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Network, a body representing the 38 LEPs operating across England. He lead a network of LEP chairs and chief executive officers. Other previous roles include with the South East England Development
Agency, Business Link for Surrey, Urban Futures London, and TS2k.
Ralls’ appointment follows a number of new hires at the BBB over the past year, with Edward O’Hara brought on as chief risk officer in mid-June and Geoff Whiteland appointed as UK network director
for the North of England and the Midlands in December 2018.
In April the lender opened its ENABLE Guarantee programme to non-bank lenders, including asset-based lending providers.