The British Business Bank (BBB) has provided £222m in support of asset finance in 2018/9, according to its annual results.

This included a £12m commitment from the BBI Investment Programme and £210m through the SME ENABLE funding scheme.

The BBB said it had funded over 89,000 businesses with £6.6bn of finance, a year-on-year increase of 27%.

According to the BBB’s annual report and accounts, over 90% of the finance the Bank supported was delivered through smaller, newer or alternative finance providers. The Bank announced 13 new delivery partners across its programmes, bringing the total number of providers it works with to more than 130.

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) is the BBB’s flagship debt programme. Since its launch in 2009, it has supported the provision of over 30,500 business loans to a value of over £3.2bn. The EFG programme has continued to add new delivery partners through 2018/19, including nine through its new asset finance variant.

The Bank’s dedicated regional funds now support more than £240m of finance. To support its regional activities further, it introduced a new Regional Angels programme and a UK Network of Bank colleagues located across all regions of the UK.

Awareness of the Bank amongst smaller businesses that might seek finance increased from 13% to 28% between Q4 2017 and Q4 2018. The Bank’s new online Finance Hub had over 200,000 visits since its June 2018 launch, and 77% of users would recommend the Finance Hub to others.

British Patient Capital, a commercial subsidiary of the Bank launched in June 2018, made £333m of new commitments in 12 funds. It aims to support high growth innovative UK businesses in accessing the long-term financing they require to scale up.

The financial year also saw a first commitment, of £10.5m, to a fund focusing exclusively on supporting small businesses in Northern Ireland in December 2018.

Keith Morgan, chief executive officer of the British Business Bank, said: “The last five years have seen the British Business Bank build a strong track record of developing carefully targeted programmes to improve small business finance markets. We are well placed to support smaller businesses across the UK at every stage of development now and in the future.”

In April this year the BBB reported that UK businesses are to receive £200m of government funding for “innovative British firms” in light of ongoing Brexit negotiations.