BDC, Canada’s bank for entrepreneurs, has released its 2020 fiscal year financial results, which highlights the financial support it provided to more than 62,000 small- and medium-sized businesses for the period of Apr. 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
The year, it said, was punctuated with several events, ending with the start of an unprecedented lockdown because of the spread of COVID-19 across the globe.
“As we look back at fiscal 2020, we can say that it was quite a year, which started with ambitious goals to grow Canadian businesses, continued with BDC’s 75th anniversary celebrations and ended brusquely with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Denham, president and CEO of BDC.
“In a very short period, we pivoted our operations to provide additional liquidity and advice to help entrepreneurs face economic challenges.”
BDC noted in a release that in early March, it was among one of the first organizations to “deploy additional measures to provide more access to capital including working capital loans, flexible terms and payment postponements, bridge financing for venture-backed companies and and several tools deployed by the Advisory Services team to support entrepreneurs during the crisis. The investments BDC has been making over the past few years in digital solutions were a key factor in helping the Bank respond to a high volume of financing requests during that period.
“Through the Government of Canada’s Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), BDC later delivered several new programs, in particular a Co-Lending Program for small businesses and Mid-Market Financing Program for medium-sized businesses, both built to help businesses with term loans for their operational cash flow requirements.”
The annual report revealed that:
- BDC’s clients accepted $7.4 billion in loans, an increase of 2.5% over the previous year. The Bank’s total portfolio now stands at $36.5 billion in capital committed to small and medium-sized businesses.
- Nearly $1.1 billion authorized in financing for majority women-owned companies, surpassing its lending target to date, with the goal set two years ago of providing $1.4 billion in financing by 2021
- BDC’s Venture Capital division had a record year in terms of proceeds received from divestiture investments, with $431 million compared to $125 million in fiscal 2019.
- BDC’s Growth & Transition Capital achieved a 19% increase in accepted financing compared to last year, reflecting strong demand for customized financing solutions for high growth companies.
The release stated that “unexpectedly, like most other financial institutions, BDC had to considerably increase its provisions on expected credit losses for loans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The provision for expected credit losses for loans was established at $772.5 million, compared to $179.9 million the previous year, an increase of $592.6 million.”
Further information is available at ww.bdc.ca.