Sheffield business bank run by London

Keith Morgan, chief executive of the British Business Bank
Keith Morgan, chief executive of the British Business Bank
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A Sheffield boss has questioned whether the flagship British Business Bank is truly headquartered in Sheffield - claiming most of its top people are based in London.

The businessman - who asked not to be named - says most senior staff, its new investment arm and the press team are all in the capital, while the board has no-one from Sheffield.

And while many senior posts are advertised as being split between London and Sheffield - most, including chief executive Keith Morgan, live in the South.

In Sheffield, the British Business Bank is based at Foundry House, Millsands, in the Riverside district of the city centre.

It was launched by Nick Clegg in 2013 in a bid to help small and medium-sized companies benefit from the economic recovery.

At the time some questioned whether it was sited in the deputy prime minister’s home city to boost his political fortunes.

The Sheffield-born boss said: “Nick Clegg made a big fuss about getting the bank based in Sheffield. It seems that’s only partly true.

“My concern is this great new Sheffield institution is meant to be leading an economic renaissance in the city when in reality only a few low-level mandarins are based here.

“We have a number of financial institutions, from RBS to HSBC, and operations like Investec and Castle Square Corporate Finance.

“Surely we could have found local people to staff the bank from the outset?”

A British Business Bank spokesman said 40 of its 69 full-time permanent employees were based in Sheffield. The lending and venture capital teams were based wholly in Sheffield while investments had senior directors and managers in both offices.

Keith Morgan, chief executive, said: “The original decision to locate the headquarters in Sheffield reflects that the majority of our staff are based there.

“Our senior managers split their time between Sheffield and London, and we also enable all staff across the organisation to meet regularly by use of video conference technology.”