SBCI allocates additional €200m to AIB for low-cost funding for Irish SMEs

  • Brings to €400m the total SBCI funding being lent by AIB to SMEs
  • SBCI has now committed €675m of its €800m first phase funding (84% of the total)
  • New AIB facility “a sign of the very strong appetite for SBCI loans” – SBCI CEO Nick Ashmore

17 December 2015: SBCI today agreed an additional €200m facility for AIB to continue to lend to Irish businesses seeking lower cost working capital, business investment, agriculture and refinancing loans.

Since the SBCI launched in March 2015, AIB has been successfully promoting discounted SBCI funding to their business customers. With the original €200 million facility now committed out to SMEs, the bank has sought a further injection of funding to continue to build on this success.

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan said: “The announcement today marks another important milestone in the SBCI’s ambitious plan to provide lower cost financing to SMEs across Ireland. This €200 million agreement with AIB brings to a total of €675 million that has now been allocated to the SBCIs lending partners for the provision of loans to SMEs. 

“Since the SBCI first launched products earlier this year over 3,200 SMEs based all across Ireland have benefited from lower cost lending and more flexible terms when borrowing to invest in their businesses. Today’s announcement will ensure that many more SMEs will be able to benefit from SBCI funding”

SBCI Chief Executive, Nick Ashmore said: “AIB’s SME customers have received approval for all the €200 million we originally allocated to AIB. It is a sign of the very strong appetite for SBCI loans that we have reached this stage so quickly and we are delighted to provide AIB with another €200 million in fresh funding to meet this continued demand.

 “AIB has succeeded in using its reach to impact a large amount of customers in a short amount of time – across a wide variety of sectors and with a good regional spread.

 “We are really pleased with the progress so far of all of our on-lenders and have confidence that the word about SBCI funding is now spreading amongst Irish SMEs.”

 AIB’s Chief Executive Bernard Byrne said.  “AIB is delighted to have fully allocated the first round of SBCI funding in such a short period of time. There was strong demand from the hospitality, retail, services, farming and manufacturing sectors countrywide for the discounted funding.

 “This additional €200 million will also be offered to businesses and farmers at the attractive rate of 4.5 per cent helping them to expand, create employment and support the economy. This rate is 2% below AIB’s standard variable rate business loan offering, the discount being provided by a combination of the SBCI and AIB.’’

The SBCI’s initial €800 million in discounted funding is channelled from German promotional bank KfW, the European Investment Bank and Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund and is currently promoted by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Finance Ireland and Merrion Fleet. All lenders of the funds must commit to passing on the full discount to small and medium Irish enterprises.

Today’s announcement brings the total committed to on-lenders to €675 million.