British Business Bank appoints UK Network Director


The British Business Bank has appointed Geoff Whiteland to a new position as UK Network Director, North of England and the Midlands.

The British Business Bank – the government-owned economic development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses – is establishing a UK Network, with team members based within each of the English regions and the three devolved Nations. The UK Network was originally announced as part of the Government’s modern industrial strategy in November 2017, with a remit to identify and help to reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK.

The UK Network will help enhance business finance ecosystems across the UK, so smaller businesses, wherever they are, can grow and prosper. It will also help the bank develop a deeper understanding of small business finance markets in all parts of the UK, so that, ultimately, the bank can improve its support to smaller businesses everywhere.

Geoff and his team of five will represent the UK Network across the North of England and the Midlands and will engage closely with business finance stakeholders in these areas.

Geoff joined the bank in 2015, initially working on the Help to Grow scheme before transitioning to become an originations director within Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions. Prior to joining the bank, Geoff spent 20 years working for UK banks in corporate, SME and structured finance roles.

Judith Hartley, managing director, UK Network, said: “I am delighted to welcome Geoff to the British Business Bank’s new UK Network, where he will be able to leverage his existing knowledge of the bank and its programmes. Geoff is joining this newly-created team at an exciting stage in its development. I’m confident he will continue to enhance and build further our relationships with key SME access to finance stakeholders in the North of England and the Midlands to help identify and reduce imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across those regions.”

Geoff Whiteland, UK network director, North of England and the Midlands said: “I am very happy to be joining the UK Network, and look forward to building on my existing relationships to promote lasting connections between the British Business Bank and the business finance ecosystem in the North and the Midlands.

“By enhancing these connections with local businesses, their advisors, funders and other intermediaries – as well as public and private partners – we will enable smaller businesses to seek the finance best suited to their needs.”

The UK Network is part of the British Business Bank’s new Demand Development Unit, which has been specifically created to raise the bank’s profile and relationship with smaller businesses across the UK. The Demand Development Unit also incorporates the bank’s recently launched Finance Hub, a digital information hub aimed at raising awareness of the finance options available to UK SMEs. It is the source of independent information for growing businesses and offers guidance for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses using interactive content.