Since its founding eight years ago, British Business Bank has established itself as an important participant in the funding markets for UK SMEs and startups. In this episode, its CEO, Louis Taylor, tells us what it is doing and how it is going about it.
We start by discussing how the bank fits into the UK ecosystem. Louis discusses the bank’s mandate and how it goes about fulfilling it. It aims to change market failures through a variety of projects. Louis discusses several of these and how BBB aims to catalyse others to fill in the gaps.
There are a few specific areas that concern EIS and VCT investors and we look at some of those. The gap in regional equity funding is well known and BBB has some tailored programmes to address them. We also talk about the challenges of improving diversity and addressing issues in the green economy.
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Louis Taylor is CEO of the British Business Bank, the UK’s government-owned economic development bank. Prior to that, he was CEO of UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, for seven years. He also held roles as a Director General in the Department for International Trade, and was a member of its Executive Committee and Management Board. Before UKEF, Louis held a range of senior roles at Standard Chartered Bank, as Chief Operating Officer of Group Treasury, based in London, following three years as the bank’s CEO for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, based in Ho Chi Minh City. During this time he was also Vice Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham). Earlier in his career he worked at JP Morgan and with two industrial companies, Cookson Group plc and BTR plc.
Louis is a trustee of the charity Sightsavers, which prevents sight loss and avoidable blindness, and promotes equal rights for the disabled. He is also a former chair of trustees of the charity Music in Prisons, which runs music education projects to help rehabilitate offenders, and a former chair of governors of the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has an MA in Law from the University of Cambridge.