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Finance Ireland becomes first non-bank lender to join Government’s low-cost Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme for SMEs

15 Dec 2023

Friday 15 December 2023

Finance Ireland, Ireland’s largest non-bank lender in the State, has become the first non-bank lender to join the Government’s new Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme for Irish SMEs.

By joining the Scheme, Finance Ireland will provide competitively priced loans from €25,000 for SMEs, for periods of up to 10 years on an unsecured basis.

They are aimed at SMEs (including farmers, agribusinesses and fishing businesses) that are investing in growing their business, in making them more resilient or more sustainable, or in climate action.

With its entry to the Scheme, Finance Ireland will support SMEs in taking action to address climate change by setting aside a minimum of 30% of the Scheme’s total lending volume for environmental sustainability purposes (e.g. investing in greater energy efficiency or in reducing the business’s carbon footprint).

The remaining 70% of the Scheme’s capacity will target strategic investments by SMEs that will increase productivity and competitiveness, putting them in a stronger position to compete in their chosen markets over the long term.

The Scheme is being operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), the State’s promotional lending institution for SMEs.

SMEs wishing to borrow from Finance Ireland under the Scheme should contact Finance Ireland directly at 01-639 1370 or through www.financeireland.ie.

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, TD, said:

“I am delighted to welcome the participation of Finance Ireland, the first non-bank lender to go to the market with our €500 million Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme. These competitively priced loans provide essential funding for SMEs who wish to avail of long-term finance to enable them to underpin future business sustainability, innovation, and productivity.”

The Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, TD, said:

“I am pleased to welcome Finance Ireland as the first non-bank on-lender for the €500 million Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme. This step will further broaden access to this flagship scheme, which has a vital role to play in unlocking long-term, lower cost finance for SMEs in Ireland.”

Investments in SME growth and resilience, and in particular, in their contribution to our climate and environmental sustainability, are much needed to ensure Ireland’s sustainable transition is realised throughout our communities and regions, and to further enable local economies to prosper.”

The Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD, said:

“I welcome the addition of Finance Ireland as the third lender offering the €500m Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme (GSLS) in the market, which will see increased availability and wider accessibility of funding for those interested in accessing finance under the GSLS.

I am also glad to see that Finance Ireland will make loans available for both green and growth purposes under the scheme. Providing the necessary supports to assist with investment for future growth and environmental sustainability will assist the agri-food sector in continuing to be adaptable and resilient to current and future challenges. My department’s funding of the GSLS will ensure the availability of long-term access to finance for our farmers, fishers, foresters, and food businesses.”

Billy Kane, Founder and Chief Executive of Finance Ireland, said:

“As Ireland’s largest non-bank lender, we are committed to driving greater competition and choice for Irish SMEs and we are delighted to be the first non-bank lender to make the SBCI Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme available to our customers.

As Irish businesses invest to reduce their carbon emissions, this scheme will provide the vital support they require to support their environmental sustainability and growth initiatives with the benefit of longer-term financing options”.

SBCI CEO, June Butler said:

“I am delighted to welcome Finance Ireland as the first non-bank on-lender to offer the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme. The Scheme assists Irish businesses, including farmers and fishers, looking to invest in greener measures and grow profitability over time by providing low-cost loans of up to €3 million with terms of seven to 10 years.

It represents a unique opportunity for businesses to invest in areas that can enhance their competitiveness, reduce energy costs and improve their sustainability. Every business is different and faces its own challenges; the nature of the Growth and Sustainability Loan Scheme allows an enterprise to consider long-term investing options and fulfil its ambition to reach future growth targets.

I encourage as many businesses as possible to make the most of the investment opportunities this Scheme offers. Supporting businesses’ sustainability and encouraging them to invest in their growth and long-term profitability is a priority for the SBCI.”