Background to the report

Corporate finance is a complex and specialist topic. We have examined corporate finance transactions and the organisations performing these for more than 35 years. There are many factors senior leaders must consider to ensure public bodies manage the risks and benefits to taxpayers when using corporate finance techniques.

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Government and the public sector have used corporate finance techniques to support and implement a range of policy objectives and interventions. This is particularly true of the government response to the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scope of the report

The guide uses insights from our stakeholder engagement and draws on our internal expertise from years of auditing government interventions and corporate finance activities. It covers 14 themes over three core areas:

  • Principles and concepts
  • Organisations and functions
  • Transactions

The interactive guide contains useful insights from 139 NAO reports and sets out key questions for senior decision-makers to consider when overseeing corporate finance activities. It will also be of interest to professionals supporting the government to deliver a range of transactions, including commercial investments, loans and guarantees.