British Business Bank case study

A new human-led, tech-powered fund brought to market in just three weeks

Popping cubes

Time was of the essence if the UK was to save the bright lights of our high-tech scene

Fast growth SMEs were among the companies hardest hit by the pandemic. They needed help, and fast. The UK government announced the Future Fund – a scheme issuing convertible loans of between £125,000 and £5 million to keep innovators afloat. It offered a potential lifeline, if the scheme could be made operational and the money delivered in time. Enter PwC.

Assembling a team built for speed

While technology was always going to power the new fund, it needed to be conceived and steered by people. We brought together experts from across PwC’s consulting, deals and operate business units into a single team with one shared goal. Working alongside client teams, we were able to move swiftly from concept to launch in a matter of weeks.

Delivering the fund during the height of pandemic-era restrictions required a new, more agile way of working. Our technology, operations, risk, compliance and legal colleagues came together seamlessly to provide the business insight and tech expertise required to make the project a success.

Once the platform was up and running, we provided a new team of 150 professionals to process applications. This included carrying out fraud and financial crime checks, customer support, delivering the funds and managing cash.

Salesforce-powered platform for security and scale

Working alongside our partners at Salesforce, the PwC team designed, developed and launched the scheme and its underlying technology platform. This included an operating model, legal structure and associated programme management.

The crucial part was to create a multi-party application mechanism that was simple and fast for SMEs to complete. At the same time it needed to be secure, reliable and trustworthy for applicants and the government providing the funds.

We developed secure data storage and created more than 250 bespoke automated workflow solutions to manage surge capacity. This allowed the Fund to deal effectively with the scale and urgency of loan applications.

The new centralised application portal, built on Salesforce Experience Cloud, allowed fund managers to create reports and dashboards, tap into a range of insights and identify any bottlenecks.

“This was a tremendous effort by everyone involved. It demonstrates that a shared sense of purpose and collaborative working culture can deliver great things.”

Marilena Ioannidou
Director at the British Business Bank and lead on the Future Fund

Fast, secure access to cash for companies that needed it

The government knew it needed to act fast to save vulnerable innovators. But even its most ambitious timeframe suggested it’d take three months to get a scheme up and running. It took us three weeks.

More than £200 million of loans were approved in the first six weeks alone. A short time later, over £1 billion had been delivered to more than 1,000 companies.

Without this financial relief, delivered securely at speed and at scale, it’s likely many of the UK’s bright sparks would have been extinguished before their time. We are proud that the people-led, tech-powered fund was able to play its part in rebuilding the UK’s economy after COVID-19.


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Contact us

Robert Boulding

Robert Boulding

Partner, Financial Services Lead Advisory, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7970 829669

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