British Business Bank spent millions on management consultants

26 April 2021 2 min. read

The British Business Bank has splashed out millions on management consultants in corona year 2020.

The UK government founded the British Business Bank in 2014 with the aim of establishing a one stop shop development bank for small and medium enterprises (SME). The Sheffield-based development bank provides SMEs across the country with government-backed financial schemes, financial loans and credits, as well as a range of business advice services.

In a bid to help distressed SMEs amid the Covid-19-induced crisis, the British Business Bank significantly beefed up its support to smaller businesses in 2020. Compared to previous years, the bank saw the amount of finance it provided to SMEs surge (through several emergency funds), delivering more than £30 billion to over 600,000 businesses.

British Business Bank spent millions on consultants

As was the case elsewhere across the public sector, the British Business Bank turned to consultants for the rapid scaling of its activities. This came with a hefty price tag – reporting rom Channel 4 shows that the public limited company (owned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) spent to the tune of £37 million on external consulting firms.

A large part of that spend was anticipated. In June, reports revealed that the British Business Bank had hired the Big Four trio of Deloitte, KPMG and PwC to support the operation of emergency lending programmes at a cost of £20 million in consulting fees. No details have been released on where the additional £17 million in spending has been expended on.

According to a spokesman of the British Business Bank, the spending supported the critical delivery of multibillion-pound schemes, and represented “good value for money to the taxpayer.”

Across the central government, consultants racked up a £175 million bill for their work on Covid-19-related response work. The Cabinet Office was one of the top spending agencies, with PwC, EY, Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company the largest beneficiaries.