First Citizen has repaid its €40m loan Facility from the SBCI following the company’s recent raising of commercial funding.
The SBCI had provided the facility to First Citizen in May 2016 to facilitate First Citizen to bring new products offering low-cost finance to Irish agri SMEs seeking to buy or lease machinery.
The SBCI’s strategy has been to drive down the cost of finance for Irish SMEs through two key measures:
- supporting new entrants to the Irish SME lending market to increase competition and choice; and
- providing low-cost funding to new and existing lenders
First Citizen’s SBCI offering was very successful in supporting First Citizen’s lending growth.
However, as First Citizen has successfully grown and diversified its offering of finance products, it has accessed competitive commercial funding and no longer requires the low-cost finance on offer from the SBCI.
The SBCI intends to redeploy this money with a new lending partner who will be announced shortly.
SBCI CEO Nick Ashmore commented:
"The SBCI’s key objective is to drive greater competition in the Irish SME lending market. We are delighted to have played a role in supporting First Citizen’s establishment as a significant competitor, and its expansion of funding and products is great news for bringing more competition to the market."
First Citizen Managing Director Chris Hanlon commented:
"First Citizen would like to thank the SBCI’s funding programme in helping it to grow and diversify its product range."