FAQs

What types of loans does the SBCI offer?

The SBCI offers SMEs long-term working capital and capital investment finance currently through AIB and Bank of Ireland. The SBCI also supports Agricultural Investment finance through its on-lender partners.

Where can I apply for an SBCI loan?

You can apply for an SBCI loan from our current lending partners AIB and Bank of Ireland. Please see contact details below:

AIB

AIB is available for SBCI loan enquiries through its network of branches and dedicated SME line. Click http://business.aib.ie/branch-locator to find your nearest branch or call 1890 47 88 33 Monday – Friday 08:00-21:00, Saturday 09:00-18:00.

Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland is available for SBCI loan enquiries through bbsbci@boi.com. Please visit www.bankofireland.com/sbci for further details.

Finance Ireland Limited

Finance Ireland Leasing is available for SBCI leasing/hire purchase enquiries through info@financeireland.ie. Please visit www.financeireland.ie for further details.

Merrion Fleet Management Ltd

Merrion Fleet is available for SBCI fleet finance enquiries at sbci@merrionfleet.ie. Please visit www.merrionfleet.ie for further details.

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank is available for SBCI loan enquiries at 1850 211 690 (Republic of Ireland). Please visit http://digital.ulsterbank.ie/business/accounts-and-services/business-lending/SBCI-Loan.html for further details.

First Citizen Finance

Details of how to get in touch with First Citizen Finance with SBCI loan enquiries, including regional contacts, are available at http://agrifinance.firstcitizen.ie/.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is available for SBCI invoice finance enquiries at 01 297 4911. Please visit www.bibbyfinancialservices.ie/sbci for further details.

What are the benefits of an SBCI loan?

The terms of an SBCI loan may be more flexible than those that are currently available, including longer maturities and payment flexibility (subject to credit approval). An SME can benefit from SBCI’s reduced funding costs as these will be passed directly on to the SME borrower via our lending partners.

Repayment flexibility makes investment more attractive to SMEs as the first repayments of a loan may be delayed to match the revenue generated from the investment rather than beginning repayments the month after the loan is drawdown. This encourages investment as the positive cashflow from an investment can be better matched to the loan repayments. Please note that repayment flexibility will be subject to the credit approval by individual lending partners.

Will the SBCI have branches around the country?

As the SBCI will not lend directly to SMEs but through bank and non-bank lenders, it will rely on their branch networks to reach SME borrowers.

It will operate as a funder to the sector to ensure that the SME finance market has a diverse range of finance providers and products that meet the needs of SMEs.

This approach gives the SBCI access to multiple branch networks and in turn, SMEs in all parts of Ireland will have access to SBCI products.

The SBCI is based on a well-established and successful European ‘on-lending’ model that is used by Germany’s KfW and Spain’s ICO. The SBCI’s role is to promote and support competition in the SME finance market. Rather than compete directly with SME finance providers, the SBCI will fund and design product programmes to be distributed through its lending partners.

Will the SBCI products be provided by all finance providers?

The SBCI products will only be available through lending partners that have concluded agreements with the SBCI. Full details of new lending partners will be provided as and when partners sign agreements with the SBCI.

How do I find out who else other than my bank provides SBCI loans?

SBCI products and the lending partners who distribute each particular product will be listed on this website. We will also issue updates as new providers of our products are added.

What is the largest amount an SME can borrow using an SBCI product?

SBCI loans will be available to the full range of SMEs from micro one-person enterprises to medium- sized businesses.
An SME can borrow up to €5 million which is likely to cover the needs of most Irish SMEs.

How is the SBCI defining what is an SME?

It is important to note that SBCI loans will be available to the full range of SMEs from micro, one- person enterprises to medium-sized businesses.
The European Commission and Irish definition of an SME is:
‘Enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding €50m and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43m’.
For full details of the EU definition of an SME, please click on this link:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/files/sme_definition/sme_user_guide_en.pdf

How does the SBCI ensure that a bank is passing on the full benefit to an SME?

All lending partners have to demonstrate that the financial benefit arising from SBCI funding is passed on to SMEs. This is part of their terms and conditions with the SBCI. The SBCI also has to show KfW and the EIB that the financial benefits are passed on to SMEs.