M&G joins shortlist to run business loans fund

The Budget, though welcomed by business leaders, did not significantly alter the retail investment landscape.

However, M&G Investment Management was named one of seven groups shortlisted to manage a £700m fund to give businesses access to non-bank finance. The group joins Alcentra, Ares Management, Cairn Capital, Haymarket Financial, Palio Capital and Pricoa Capital to run the Business Finance Partnership.

The government will make an initial investment of up to £700m, with the total to reach £1.2 billion.

It was announced that £100m would be made available through non-traditional lending channels to reach smaller businesses, which could include peer-to-peer or supply chain financing.

Meanwhile the Budget pledged to improve transparency and competitiveness in the Isa market, working alongside the industry in targeting improvements to transfer periods and information exchange. (Article continues below)

“The government encourages industry to reduce transfer periods as far as possible, making use of technological advances in how funds are transferred and how information is exchanged between providers,” the Budget revealed.

The Money Advice Service will additionally introduce web-based resources to show consumers when Isa bonus rates are ending.

Lastly, the annual investment limit for a venture capital trust and enterprise investment scheme investing in a qualifying company was revised down to £5m, after it was announced in last year’s Budget that it would be increased to £10m.

In last year’s Budget statement, chancellor George Osborne announced the government would raise the annual limit for qualifying investment companies by 400% to £10m for both vehicles.