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Community bank in Mid Wales makes significant step forward

The British Business Bank today announces the accreditation of Robert Owen Community Banking Fund (ROCBF) as a lender for the term loan variant of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Programme.

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Based in Newtown, Mid Wales, ROCBF has recently launched an enhanced range of ethical loans for businesses, individuals and communities across Wales. These business loans, ranging from £1000 to £50,000, are available to support a spectrum of local enterprises.

Their new EFG accreditation will enable ROCBF to increase still further their provision of finance to smaller businesses that might otherwise struggle to obtain the finance they need.

The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Programme facilitates business finance to smaller businesses that are viable but unable to obtain finance from their lender due to having inadequate security to meet the lender’s normal credit requirements.


Since its launch in 2009, EFG has supported the provision of over 30,300 facilities to a value of over £3.2bn (as at end December 2018). It provides lenders such as ROCBF with a government-backed guarantee of 75% of the outstanding balance of eligible facilities, allowing lenders to broaden their reach to smaller businesses potentially enabling a “no” credit decision from a lender to become a “yes”.

Mark White, Chief Executive Officer, Robert Owen Community Banking Fund said: “This is a very exciting development for us and is the latest building block in our three-year growth and expansion plan. The EFG accreditation from the British Business Bank potentially opens the door for applicants across a range of business types and activities. There is a huge, untapped pool of enterprise in Wales, and this will be an important tool in helping us unlock their potential.”

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Steve Conibear, Senior Manager for Wales, UK Network at British Business Bank said, said: “The accreditation of Robert Owen Community Banking Fund shows our continued commitment to increasing the diversity of smaller business finance in the UK, including by supporting smaller lenders.

A diverse finance market means that smaller businesses may benefit from more choices and better terms that increased competition can offer. This accreditation will help ROCBF’s ability to increase lending to this important part of the smaller business finance market.”

Accreditation under EFG comes at an exciting time for ROCBF, having recently been confirmed as host for the Enterprise Hub for Mid Wales at its Newtown base, announced the as part of the Welsh Government’s drive to support business entrepreneurs across Wales.