Only in Britain could this gravy train happen

While Britain’s enterprising businesses struggle on, unloved by Vince, hated by the banks and rejected by the equity markets (with lots of regulators, VAT inspectors and Revenue officials knocking on their doors), a headline in this Sunday’s ‘Mail on Sunday’ can only bring disgrace to the idiots who are trying stimulate (without success) growth in the UK.

It read:

“Please ask us for some money says growth fund.”

This involves the ludicrous gravy train called the Business Growth Fund which is a £2.5bn initiative which so far has made NO investments. It targets businesses with turnover of £5m – £50m which gives you a clear idea that the founders have no idea where the growth potential lies.

What are they doing? I suggest you visit their pathetic website which starts with the words “Reading this could be the start of a new growth phase for you and your company”. Ugh!

What they have been doing is making appointments of high powered executives all over the place. There are now five regional offices, many top appointments including recently two regional directors in the North East and London and an Investment Director in Scotland. Oh, and why not, they have appointed a Director of Communications and Marketing.

Every one of these appointments will involve mouth watering contracts, offices, pensions and so on. It will cost a fortune to unwind it when it fails in its mission. By that time Ed (Balls) will be saying “It’s all George’s fault.”

The MoS article said the Fund is “urging more firms to ask it for money.”

What a farce.


The Treasury is tickled pink that it has obtained EU agreement to the proposed changes to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (“EIS”) rules. Tax relief is up to 30% and the annual investor limit is increased to £1m. George (The Chancellor) said “We want to make the UK the best place to start, finance and grow a business.” He has obviously never attempted the amazingly long-winded process of an EIS transaction.

2 comments for “Only in Britain could this gravy train happen

  1. Richard Hoblyn
    28 September, 2011 at 09:42

    The problem has been the encroachment of everyone into the investment game since Big Bang. Now with RDR looming it’s getting even worse. Solicitors, accountants, IFA’s, regulators, quangos, banks, financial media and just about everyone on virtual TV is an expert on finance and investing. This is where the problem starts and finishes and why no risk capital is deployed to acorn opportunities. The FSA doctrine has mangled the risk culture to such an extreme that only bureaucrats can gain from the desire to rebuild economies. A US broker colleague believes that Europe incl UK is embroiled in a fascist revival. It’s clear to me that the old fashioned art of stockbroking is being extinguished by a new order (fascist?) culture that precludes actual (as opposed to virtual) stockbrokers in having any impact on capital raising or assisting growth vehicles. My father, a retired stockbroker, taught me many things and one of his favourites phrases was…”remember, there is no such thing as an EXPERT in investing”. It’s a shame that the regulator and the new order think differently. Personally I’m of the view that the old way is and was right on this. Where will it end Tony?

    • LG
      29 September, 2011 at 16:12

      I would concur that the regulatory world is in overdrive and ignoring the fact that they gave certain parts of the banking and financial service industry the power to hang itself. This coupled with news from certain circles that the RDRs will eventually cover the whole industry means that its going to be a long hard road back. However we can not ignore that fact that our industry broke trust with the investor community and perhaps some personal honesty is required. If someone invests money directly into a business then have a right to expect that the company will be managed correctly and an investment should result in a profit.

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