SBCI sources €450 million in new funding to meet strong SME demand for low-cost loans

  • Brings total SBCI funding capacity to €1.25 billion
  • SBCI CEO: New funding arrangements will allow us to support even more SMEs and bring even greater competition to the SME lending market

16 December 2016: The SBCI has obtained a further €450 million in funding to facilitate the growing demand for SBCI loans and bring its current funding capacity from its original €800 million to €1.25 billion.

The new funding is comprised of:

  • a €200 million long-term Loan facility from the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Paris and
  • a €250 million 10-year Guaranteed Notes Programme with the Funding and Debt Management unit of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

These new facilities will strengthen the SBCI’s ability to provide low-cost, flexible loans to Irish SMEs through its eight existing on-lending partners and its pipeline of new partners. It also brings additional diversification to the SBCI’s sources of funding.

SBCI CEO Nick Ashmore said: “We succeeded earlier this year in committing all of the €800 million that was made available to us when we began operations 2 years ago. Our new funding arrangements will allow us to support even more SMEs and bring even greater competition to the SME lending market.

We have demonstrated that we are an effective conduit for a range of EU supports to the Irish economy, which has enabled the SBCI to source further funding from international and domestic sources.”

In late 2014 the SBCI sourced its initial funding of €800 million from German development bank, KfW, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to support part of its mandate in the provision of longer term lower cost financing to the Irish SME market.

The SBCI has already committed €906 million in funding to its eight existing on-lending partners.

Nick Ashmore added: “Earlier this week we also announced a new €100 million counter-guarantee facility from the European Investment Fund (EIF) under the COSME programme which will enable the SBCI to share risk with lenders. This was a landmark deal that will help SMEs in sectors that may otherwise struggle to get credit, in addition to making it more attractive for new lenders to enter the SME lending market, driving competition and choice.”

During 2016 the SBCI took on four new on lenders and by September had facilitated €458 million in loan drawdowns to over 11,500 SMEs throughout Ireland.

SBCI lenders offer lower cost, longer term loans across a range of products including working capital, investment, agri-finance, invoice finance, fleet finance and leasing. On average, SMEs receive a discount of 1.5% on market rates for these loans.