I am very happy once again to contribute this Foreword to The Corporate Finance Handbook. The Bank of England continues to take a close interest in the availability of finance to firms of all sizes and this falls squarely within one of the Bank’s three core purposes – that of seeking to ensure the effectiveness of financial services in the United Kingdom. Naturally, our other core purposes – maintaining the integrity and value of the currency and maintaining the stability of the financial system – also play a vital role in creating an environment in which businesses can plan confidently for the future.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Bank published its own guide to sources of finance for businesses, Money for Business. More recently, we have produced regular reports on the financing of small firms generally, as well as focusing on the position of particular categories of small firms (particularly ethnic minority and high-technology small firms). A recurrent theme of our work has been the importance of ensuring that finance is not only available but is also appropriate to firms’ particular needs. I believe that there has been considerable progress in this direction in recent years, but businesses still need to know where to look for what they require.
This third edition of The Corporate Finance Handbook, which covers the full range of types and potential sources of finance for small, medium-sized and large firms, makes a valuable contribution towards meeting that demand. Indeed, I hope that it will help businesses to access the finance they need for their growth and development.