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ART Business Loans

Governance and people

ART Business Loans is a Community Development Finance Institution, also known as a Responsible Finance Provider. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and owned by its members, who elect representatives to the Board of Directors at each Annual General Meeting.


Originally an Industrial and Provident Society, ART SHARE (Social Help Association for Reinvesting in Enterprise) Limited (which trades as ART Business Loans) became a Community Benefit Society under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. This means that it is required to act for the benefit of its community – businesses unable to access the finance they need from the banks.

Aston Reinvestment Guarantee Company Limited is a separate legal entity to ART Business Loans. It is a Company Limited by Guarantee (number 2422872). It can provide guarantees in favour of ART for loans made to ART Business Loans and holds certain funds in reserve as provision for bad debts incurred in ART Business Loans lending book. It has predominantly been funded by way of donations and currently holds a reserve of around £220,000. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of ART Business Loans.


Investors in ART Business Loans automatically become members of ART Business Loans. Investors can be individuals or corporates. ART Business Loans currently has more than 300 investor members, who have invested a total of over £750,000 over the years.

All members, in line with the rules of the Society, are entitled to vote at the Annual General Meeting or, if called, at Special General Meetings. Each member has one vote, irrespective of the size of their investment.


The generosity and vision of social investors, looking to put their money to work for the benefit of society have always been important to ART Business Loans. Early investors included some of the major banks, Wesleyan, IMI, Jaguar, Severn Trent and several housing associations. Individual share investors were led by Sir Adrian Cadbury and his family.

The introduction of Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR), for which ART Business Loans became accredited, gave investors the opportunity to receive a financial return through this tax relief, in addition to a social return. ART Business Loans and the Responsible Finance sector have championed the opportunity to use the Government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme (operated through the British Business Bank), together with CITR, which the ART Business Loans 2020 CITR offer includes.


The experienced staff team has a thorough understanding of business and finance. The Loans Managers take a personal approach to lending, meeting with potential borrowers to get to know their businesses and understand their plans. The team is able to signpost to other financers and facilitate packages of finance where appropriate. They are well connected and attend a large number of relevant business and finance events.



ART Business Loans currently has a Board of ten prominent local individuals with relevant backgrounds in finance, business, corporate social responsibility and supporting diversity and inclusivity in the West Midlands. With the exception of the Chief Executive, the Board members provide their services on a voluntary basis. The Board meets quarterly to set strategy, review performance and ensure that ART Business Loans is a robust and sustainable business, able to fulfil its objectives. The Board also overviews operational performance.

Directors' remuneration

With the exception of the Chief Executive, Board members receive no remuneration for their work.

Directors' holdings

Board members are members of the co-op so have investment holdings in ART Business Loans on a one-member-one-vote basis.

Conflict of Interest

The Board maintains a register of directors’ interests, and declarations of interest is a standing item on Board agendas.


One out of 10 directors is female and three are from ethnic minority groups.

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