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Ministers Coveney, McGrath and McConalogue launch €1.2bn Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme

30 Jan 2023

Monday, 30th January 2023 - Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD along with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie Mc Conalogue TD, and Minister for Finance Michael McGrath TD, have announced Bank of Ireland as the first lender to the market for the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme.

A number of other lenders are expected to take part in the Scheme following the Open Call for participants which closed on Friday last.

This Scheme has a lending ceiling of €1.2 billion and will facilitate loans for working capital and medium-term investment.

The important features are:

Businesses will have certainty that their liquidity funding needs can be met through low-cost loans supported by the Government. This is a central pillar of the Government’s response to aid businesses impacted by rapidly rising costs as a result of the invasion of Ukraine.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, T.D, said:

“The illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its consequences has led to increased costs for business across numerous areas of their operations. Many businesses need access to liquidity and this Credit Guarantee Scheme gives that. Low cost loans, favourable terms and pre-eligibility availability makes this Scheme attractive and accessible to businesses including SMEs, farmers and fishers.

“In the coming time I look forward to a number of other lenders and financial institutions participating in the Scheme. The Government will continue to assist businesses in the most practical, targeted and effective way as we continue to negotiate a challenging trading environment.”

Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath TD, said:

“This Government is committed to supporting Irish SMEs. The Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme sends a strong signal of this support by making up to €1.2 billion of low cost working capital available to small businesses and farmers affected by current inflationary pressures, particularly increased energy costs resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The Scheme will allow businesses which have experienced an increase in costs of over 10% on 2020 due to the impact of the conflict, to access lending terms of up to 6 years, on loans ranging from €10,000 to €1 million, with amounts of up to €250,000 available on an unsecured basis. I welcome Bank of Ireland’s participation in this Scheme as on-lender under the SBCI’s on-lending partnership arrangements for risk-sharing schemes.”

Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue TD, said:

“The Government continues to back farmers and agri-businesses in this time of challenge. While our world-class industry is well positioned to weather various situations, it is especially important to support businesses to meet their liquidity and working capital needs.

“I was pleased to be able to ensure that the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available to farmers, fishers and food businesses to help them deal with increased costs arising from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This initiative will play a key role in ensuring ongoing access to short-term finance and the ongoing viability of the agri-food sector and of businesses generally.”

CEO of Bank of Ireland, Myles O’Grady said:

“Bank of Ireland is delighted to be the first bank to offer the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme to Irish businesses, farmers and fishers. The Bank is here to support our Irish business customers through turbulent times as it has always done throughout its 240-year history. This Scheme will provide additional support and financial flexibility for businesses suffering from rapidly rising costs as a consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

June Butler, CEO of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) said:

“Supporting Irish businesses in accessing lower-cost funding, when needed the most, is a priority for the SBCI. I welcome the introduction of the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme to market, which will go a long way in helping businesses to deal with the sharp increase in costs, including energy costs, due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“We believe that businesses, including farmers and fishers, will benefit from having access to this additional financial support, to fund their working capital and investment needs. The provision of unsecured loans of up to €250,000, together with the reduction in applicable interest rates, makes the Scheme a viable option for borrowers. The SBCI will continue to play its part in supporting Irish businesses as they seek to access finance to grow, innovate and prosper into the future.”