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Government-backed Start Up Loans programme appoints Richard Bearman as UK Managing Director

The British Business Bank is delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Bearman as its new Managing Director, responsible for the Start Up Loans programme. Richard is currently the Head of Small Business for HSBC UK, where he has worked for 20 years, and brings with him a wealth of experience working with start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Richard was responsible for setting the strategic direction, growing HSBC UK’s small business customer base and leading a team of Business Specialists, with more than 450 colleagues located across the UK. He also developed HSBC UK’s Direct Business Specialist proposition using a range of telephone and digital tools. In 2018, the business was voted Best Business Banking Provider in the Smart Money People British Bank Awards and Best Online Banking Provider in the Business Moneyfacts Award.

Commenting on the appointment, Patrick Magee, British Business Bank Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Richard is well placed to lead the future of the Start Up Loans programme. He will be working with our nationwide network of delivery partners and our customer service team to help thousands of businesses across the UK to start and grow.”

“Richard will bring great leadership experience to Start Up Loans and his skills will complement the strengths of the existing leadership team as they take the business forward.”

Richard Bearman, Managing Director responsible for Start Up Loans, said:

“I am really excited to be working for Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank. I have a real passion for entrepreneurs and look forward to starting the new role and continuing the great work that has been done over the past few years”

The Start Up Loans programme, part of the British Business Bank, provides fixed-interest loans and mentoring support to aspiring business owners across the UK who might be struggling to access other forms of finance. Backed by the Government, the programme has lent over £468m to start-ups and early stage businesses since it was launched in 2012.

Richard Bearman


For more information, please contact:

Jaypreet Rathore
020 7898 5707

Scott Shearer
020 3772 1351

Notes to editors

About Start Up Loans

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, was formed in June 2012. The Start Up Loans scheme provides personal loans for business purposes of up to £25,000 at a 6% fixed interest rate per annum, and offers free dedicated mentoring and support to each business.

The primary aim of the Start Up Loans scheme is to ensure that viable start-ups and early-stage businesses have access to the finance and support they need in order to thrive. A network of Delivery Partner organisations support applicants in all regions and industries throughout the UK. The Start Up Loans scheme is not designed to generate a commercial profit. Capital payments together with the interest are recycled to help meet our customers’ increasing demand for finance.

Free guides on a range of subjects related to starting a business are available on the Start Up Loans website: You can find recent media coverage and press releases in the Start Up Loans Media Centre here:

The funding for the Start Up Loans scheme is provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The Start Up Loans Company is a subsidiary of the British Business Bank. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such.

The British Business Bank makes finance markets for smaller businesses work better, enabling the sector to prosper, grow and build economic activity. Their Business Finance Guide explores finance options and the journey from start-up to growth. Access the Business Finance Guide here:

Key statistics

  • Since 2012, The Start Up Loans scheme has delivered nearly 61,000 loans, providing more than £468m of funding, helping to back 28 businesses a day, and contributing to the creation of more than 60,000 jobs. NB. that is jobs created or supported by a Start Up Loan including the individual recipient.
  • In the financial year 2017/18, the scheme provided 8,539 loans with a total value exceeding £91.2m – helping to support around 27 businesses every day of the year
  • 21% of loan recipients were formerly NEET (not in employment, education or training) and 37% were formerly unemployed or economically inactive.
  • 17% of loan recipients were aged between 18 and 24
  • The estimated net Gross Value Added (GVA) effects to 2017/2018 from the beneficiary survey cohort (of 327 individuals) is £3.1m, increasing to £4.6m if the benefits persist for a further two-years to 2019/20
  • Loan recipients report estimated average turnover of £44,000 in the first year.
  • In the November Budget 2018, the Chancellor announced that the programme would be extended with a target of 10,000 additional loans being issued in the year to April 2021
  • For more information about Start Up Loans, please visit:
  • All of these statistics are gross estimates, with the exception of the return on investment numbers, and are based upon Start Up Loans CRM and externally commissioned research undertaken by Qa Research.