In Wales this week, the BBC reported that a development bank for businesses had been recommended to help the Welsh economy continue to grow. Dylan Jones-Evans, professor of entrepreneurship at the University of the West of England in Bristol produced a report which concluded that a development bank would ease what he described as a ‘market failure’ in available finance.
One of Professor Dylan Jones-Evans previous reports found that there was a gap of £500m a year between what businesses want to borrow and what banks are willing to lend.
The call for this sort of financial institution in Wales could spell the end for the arms-length body, Finance Wales, which is a subsidiary of the Welsh government. Professor Jones-Evans’s other reports have raised valid questions about how well Finance Wales is doing in its remit to support businesses and help grow the Welsh economy.
Finance Wales has helped many businesses, but it has been widely criticised for the interest rates that have been charged. Figures recently revealed that investments in firms from Finance Wales’ main European fund had only resulted in 20% of the jobs they were expected to create in Wales.
Critical of the proposals
Some people have expressed criticism of the proposals the involvement of the Welsh government in the decision making process rather than Finance Wales who as an arms-length organisation are separated from ministers.
At the present time, business owners in Wales can access loans from the UK government, Finance Wales and the Welsh government. The idea for a development bank would be to bring all loans, development grants and business advice together in one place.
I’d encourage Welsh business owners caught up in the ‘market failure’ to provide funding, to look at other avenues of lending available including invoice finance which my team here at Bibby Financial Services specialise in.
Invoice finance provides cashflow solutions for business owners by releasing value tied-up in outstanding customer invoices. This form of finance, combined with the expertise of those who offer it, could be a life line for Welsh business owners trapped in the current stalemate.
Check back for more updates on this subject.
UK CEO, Bibby Financial Services
About David Postings
David Postings is the UK Chief Executive Officer for Bibby Financial Services following his appointment in April 2012. David is an experienced senior executive with over 35 years’ experience in financial services. David has extensive knowledge of the commercial finance landscape.
You can read more about David Postings and his position at Bibby Financial Services in the About Me Section.