British Business Bank appoints new CEO

The British Business Bank has appointed Louis Taylor as its chief executive officer, succeeding Catherine Lewis La Torre.

Taylor will take up the role from 1 October; he is currently CEO of UK Export Finance, the UK government’s export credit agency. Its achievements at the helm of the agency included it providing its highest level of support for UK exporters in 30 years and end its financial support for overseas fossil fuel projects, while operating at no net cost to the UK taxpayer.

Before joining UK Export Finance, Taylor had a career in banking and corporate finance, most recently with Standard Chartered Bank. His early career included eight years in investment banking for JP Morgan and seven years running strategy and acquisitions for Cookson Group plc and Invensys.

In September 2020, Catherine Lewis La Torre was appointed Interim CEO of the British Business Bank to allow government to map out the next phase of the Bank’s development before commencing the search for a permanent successor to the CEO. Lewis La Torre will continue in post as interim CEO through to Autumn to ensure an orderly transition.

Welcoming Louis Taylor’s appointment, Lord Smith of Kelvin, chair of the British Business Bank, said: “Louis is a highly respected, strategic leader, with more than 30 years’ banking and corporate finance experience and a strong track record of success. He has successfully led UK Export Finance for more than six years and has made a considerable contribution to the agency since he joined in 2015. I am delighted that he has agreed to take on the role of CEO and look forward to working with him as we support the UK’s economic recovery through the Bank’s debt and equity programmes, launch the Next Generation of Regional Funds, and also continue to address fraud and financial crime in relation to the Covid-19 loan schemes.”

Taylor said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the British Business Bank, with its well-established support for smaller businesses to start, grow and develop, as well as its important role as the UK’s economic development bank. Continuing to deliver on the government’s agenda for levelling up and driving towards net zero is an exciting prospect that I look forward to addressing with the Bank’s talented team.”

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank’s core programmes support over £8.5bn of finance to almost 95,000 smaller businesses. The British Business Bank is responsible for running the government’s Coronavirus business loan schemes and Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4 bn of finance to 1.67m businesses.