Women make up half of the six-person panel that will advise the U.K. government’s business bank, which was set up to boost lending to small firms.
Business Secretary Vince Cable today named Lucy Armstrong, who mentors small businesses; Caroline Green, finance director of Metalrax Group Plc (MRX); and Patience Wheatcroft, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph and Wall Street Journal Europe as members of the advisory board. They will serve with Brendan Barber, former general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, and Business Growth Fund Plc Chief Executive Officer Stephen Welton. The group will be chaired by Peter Burt, former CEO of the Bank of Scotland.
Cable said in September the government will provide 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) of backing to allow the bank to offer long-term financing to small and medium-sized companies. It will operate on a wholesale basis rather than lending directly, and aim to raise more than 1 billion pounds of private-sector funding.
The board was “a great example of the kind of modern leadership we are trying to encourage in British companies today,” the business secretary said in a statement. “Half of the group are women and half of the group are directly involved in small and medium-sized enterprise finance.”
Cable has long argued that a lack of funding is stopping businesses from expanding and helping the British economy to grow. His department has looked at how Germany’s Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau, the state-owned development bank set up under the Marshall Plan in 1948, works to fund lending.
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