Development bank on course to open next year
The Development Bank of Wales is on course to launch in
the first half of next year, following receipt of a detailed
business plan, Economy Secretary, Ken Skates has announced
The new bank will be tasked with providing
more than £1 billion of investment support to Welsh business over
the next five years and will ensure micro to medium businesses in
Wales have greatly improved access to finance, support services and
The Development Bank will create and
safeguard over 5,500 jobs a year by 2022 and will be tasked
with increasing annual direct investment to £80m by that date. Last
month the Economy Secretary confirmed his wish for the
headquarters of the Development Bank to be located in North
The Economy Secretary said:
“The Welsh Government has now received a
detailed business plan for the Development Bank of Wales, which
means, subject to regulatory approval, we remain on target to
launch the bank in the first half of 2017.
“In developing the business plan, Finance
Wales have consulted with a wide range of partners and have taken
account of the financial challenges being experienced by businesses
in Wales in order to develop the right solutions.
“They are also working closely with the Office
of National Statistics and academia to create an Intelligence Unit,
which will undertake research and work to develop innovative new
solutions to Welsh businesses grow and prosper.
“The bank will create and safeguard over 5,500
jobs per year by 2022 and I am targeting it with increasing direct
investment levels to £80m per year by the same date.
“I am also challenging the bank to
continuously improve its value for money, and work towards
ambitious private sector leverage to reduce cost per job.
“Importantly the Development Bank is not there
to crowd out or compete with other financial providers. I want it
to work alongside businesses and banks, provide top up finance
“While the markets in Wales have slowly and
steadily reopened since the credit crunch, we know market failures
still exist in areas like finance for micro and small
businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses where the
business model is not proven.
“The Development Bank of Wales will
provide vital support to these type of businesses, helping them to
access innovative sources of funding such as crowd funding. It will
build on the experience and success of Finance Wales which invested
over £45m during 2015/16 in Welsh businesses. This resulted in
almost £65m additional investment being leveraged, and saw over
£110m growth capital being injected into the Welsh
“Ultimately the Bank will form a key part of
our strategic approach to supporting businesses and will help
us to build a Wales that is more prosperous and secure.”
The Welsh Government will now work with key
partners to ensure the new business plan fully meets the needs of
businesses and will help them to realise their potential.