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SBCI teams up with Ulster Bank to provide €75m in new lower-cost funding to Irish SMEs

14 Jan 2016

14 January 2016 – The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) today announced a new partnership with Ulster Bank, which becomes the fifth on-lender of lower-cost SBCI loans for Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), expanding further the range of financing options available to Irish businesses.

The SBCI has committed €75 million to Ulster Bank to allow it to provide SME loans with a discount of at least 1% on existing Ulster Bank loan rates.

The new products being offered by Ulster Bank are:

The key features of these products are:

SBCI Chief Executive Nick Ashmore said:

“The SBCI is making great progress and generating strong momentum. We now have five major lending partners offering low-cost SBCI loans to Irish SMEs.
“The €75 million we have committed to Ulster Bank means we have now made a total of €750 million available to Irish SMEs – that’s 94% of the €800 million we started out with.
“The speed of take up tells us that there is a strong appetite for SBCI loans and that we are making a real and tangible difference to Irish SMEs. We intend to build on our strong start throughout 2016 by bringing more lenders, more money and more competition to the SME lending market. ”

Eddie Cullen, Managing Director of Commercial Banking Division, Ulster Bank said:

“Ulster Bank is delighted to offer additional finance for Irish SMEs, including agri-business using Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland funding. Our lending to SMEs grew in 2015 and we look forward to continuing to support the ambitions of Irish businesses to ensure that viable businesses of all sizes can access the necessary finance to enable them to invest and grow – employ more people and contribute to the economic recovery. Today’s announcement is an important additional financing avenue for our customers.”

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan said:

“I welcome Ulster Bank’s addition to the SBCI’s stable of on-lenders. The SBCI has moved quickly since its inception to include as many on-lenders as possible and to broaden its reach to as many SMEs as possible in keeping with the Government’s aims for the SBCI. This latest addition ensures that access to the SBCI’s SME focussed funding continues to grow. ”

In late 2015, the SBCI launched €75 million of new loan facilities with Finance Ireland and Merrion Fleet Finance for SMEs seeking leasing, product hire and fleet finance loans, in addition to announcing an additional €200 million facility for AIB to continue its campaign.

In total, the SBCI has made €400 million available through AIB; €200 million through Bank of Ireland; €75 million through Ulster Bank; €50 million through Finance Ireland; and €25 million through Merrion Fleet.