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Brexit Impact Loan Scheme

A medium-term, lower cost scheme to fund working capital and investments for businesses, including primary producers, impacted by Brexit and Covid-19.

The SBCI Brexit Impact Loan Scheme is offered in partnership with the Department Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the European Investment Fund (EIF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Ireland is uniquely exposed to the effects of Brexit relative to its European peers. The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS) supports qualifying viable Irish businesses and primary producers (Agriculture/Fishing) by providing access to affordable medium-term finance enabling them to invest in their business.

Step 1 – The applicant must first submit an Eligibility Application Form to the SBCI to check if they are eligible for the Scheme. If the SBCI determines that the applicant is eligible, the applicant will be notified in writing and will be supplied with an eligibility reference number (eligibility code).

Step 2 – The applicant must provide this eligibility confirmation letter/code to the relevant finance provider when submitting their credit application.

Please note that the SBCI eligibility letter/code is not a guarantee of loan approval and does not impose any obligation on the on-lender to provide a loan.

Approval of loans is subject to the scheme lenders’ own credit criteria, policies and procedures.

The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme operates until 31 December 2021 or until the scheme has been fully subscribed.

For more information on applications click here


The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme is designed to address the economic impact of Covid-19, initially on those businesses that have also been impacted by Brexit. Loans can be used for:

  • working capital and investment loans to support SMEs and Small Mid-Caps (including primary producers) impacted primarily by Brexit;
  • refinancing of existing SBCI Brexit Loan Scheme facilities; or
  • refinancing of a non SBCI Brexit loan that was provided to support businesses impacted by Brexit.

  • Loan amounts from €25,000 to a maximum of €1,500,000 per borrower (loan amounts are dependent on aid intensity and State aid thresholds)1.
  • Loan terms of between 1 year up to 6 years (loan terms are dependent on the purpose of the loan).
  • Loans are unsecured up to €500,000.
  • Amounts >€500,000 may be secured; however, a personal guarantee may only be sought in circumstances where it is required to capture supporting security, or where it is an uncollateralised personal guarantee and is limited to a maximum of 20% of the initial finance agreement amount.
  • Optional interest-only repayments or interest and / or capital moratoria (up to 90 days) are possible under the Scheme. These remain at the discretion of the participating finance provider. Otherwise, loans must have an amortising repayment schedule and not a bullet repayment profile.
  • Loans are available up to 31 December 2021.

For the full Scheme criteria, please check the Terms & Conditions below.

1.For Small Mid-Caps loan amounts from €25,000 to a maximum of €1.4 million.

The interest rate applicable to the loan will depend on the finance provider chosen.

  • Bank of Ireland:
    • Maximum loan interest rate of 3.7% on loans <€250,000;
    • Maximum loan interest rate of 2.75% on loans >€250,000.
  • Other finance providers will apply a minimum discount of 1% on their standard comparable rate for a non-BILS debt product.

Loans will not be provided to SMEs or Small Mid-Caps that have a substantial focus in any of the following sectors:

  • tobacco, if it forms a substantial part of the applicant’s primary financed business activities or a substantial part of the proposed financing;
  • gambling, casinos and equivalent enterprises or hotels hosting such facilities;
  • ammunition and weapons, military/police equipment, infrastructure or correctional facilities, prisons;
  • production or trade in pharmaceuticals, pesticides/herbicides, chemicals, ozone depleting substances and other hazardous substances subject to international phase-outs or bans;
  • production or use of or trade in hazardous materials such as radioactive materials (except for medical isotopes and materials for diagnostics and treatment in healthcare provision), unbounded asbestos fibres and products containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); or
  • destruction of critical habitats.

For the full list of Excluded Activities, please check the Terms & Conditions below.


Viable micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and Small Mid-Cap enterprises that meet the eligibility criteria.

SMEs are defined by the standard EU definition contained in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC as enterprises that:

  • have fewer than 250 employees;
  • have a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet);
  • are independent and autonomous, i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises;
  • have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies;
  • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland.

A Small Mid-Cap is an enterprise that is not an SME but has fewer than 500 employees.

An SME/Small Mid-Cap that:

  • does not satisfy the eligibility criteria (see section below);
  • is bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by courts;
  • is subject to, or fulfil the criteria under domestic law for being placed in, collective insolvency proceedings;
  • in the last five years has entered into an arrangement in the context of being bankrupt or wound up or having its affairs administered by courts;
  • has been convicted of an offence concerning professional misconduct by judgement, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests.

For the full list, please check the Terms & Conditions below.


SMEs/Small Mid-Caps must satisfy one of the following Brexit criteria.

  1. Export products, services or raw materials to the UK (including Northern Ireland) equating to at least 15% of business turnover.
  2. Import products, services or raw materials from the UK (including Northern Ireland) equating to at least 15% of business turnover.
  3. The combined exposure (of 1 and 2 above) equates to at least 15% of business turnover.
  4. The business is indirectly exposed to the UK (including Northern Ireland), i.e. transacts products, services or raw materials with an enterprise that is directly exposed to the UK (including Northern Ireland) equating to at least 15% of turnover.

For the full list of Eligibility Criteria, please check the Terms & Conditions below.


Once an applicant has received the eligibility confirmation letter from the SBCI (step 1 of the application process), they must submit their credit application, together with the eligibility letter/code, to the following on-lenders (step 2).

  • Bank of Ireland is open for applications for the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme.

The SBCI expects to announce additional scheme partners in the coming week. Please check sbci.gov.ie for updates

The Scheme will operate under a combination of State aid measures including:

For the complete text on State aid rules, please refer to the relevant Regulations.

The information provided by the applicants will be shared with, amongst others, the SBCI and its authorised agents, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Please see the SBCI Data Protection Statement here

See link below

NACE Codes

Step 1 – The applicant must first submit an Eligibility Application Form to the SBCI to check if they are eligible for the Scheme. If the SBCI determines that the applicant is eligible, the applicant will be notified in writing and will be supplied with an eligibility reference number (eligibility code).

Step 2 – The applicant must provide this eligibility confirmation letter/code to the relevant finance provider when submitting their credit application.

Please note that the SBCI eligibility letter/code is not a guarantee of loan approval and does not impose any obligation on the on-lender to provide a loan.

Approval of loans is subject to the scheme lenders’ own credit criteria, policies and procedures.

The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme operates until 31 December 2021 or until the scheme has been fully subscribed.

For more information on applications click here


The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme is designed to address the economic impact of Covid-19, initially on those businesses that have also been impacted by Brexit. Loans can be used for:

  • working capital and investment loans to support SMEs, including primary producers (Agriculture/Fishing), impacted primarily by Brexit; or
  • refinancing of a non SBCI Brexit loan that was provided to support businesses impacted by Brexit.

  • Loan amounts from €25,000 to a maximum of €1,500,000 per borrower (loan amounts are dependent on aid intensity and State aid thresholds).
  • Loan terms of between 1 year up to 6 years (loan terms are dependent on the purpose of the loan).
  • Loans are unsecured up to €500,000.
  • Amounts >€500,000 may be secured; however, a personal guarantee may only be sought in circumstances where it is required to capture supporting security, or where it is an uncollateralised personal guarantee and is limited to a maximum of 20% of the initial finance agreement amount.
  • Optional interest-only repayments or interest and / or capital moratoria (up to 90 days) are possible under the Scheme. These remain at the discretion of the participating finance provider. Otherwise, loans must have an amortising repayment schedule and not a bullet repayment profile.
  • Loans are available up to 31 December 2021.

For the full Scheme criteria, please check the Terms & Conditions below.

The interest rate applicable to the loan will depend on the finance provider chosen.

  • Bank of Ireland:
    • Maximum loan interest rate of 3.7% on loans <€250,000;
    • Maximum loan interest rate of 2.75% on loans >€250,000.
  • Other finance providers will apply a minimum discount of 1% on their standard comparable rate for a non-BILS debt product.

Loans will not be provided to SMEs that have a substantial focus in any of the following sectors:

  • tobacco, if it forms a substantial part of the applicant’s primary financed business activities or a substantial part of the proposed financing;
  • unsustainable fishing methods (i.e. drift net fishing in the marine environment using nets in excess of 2.5 km in length and blast fishing);
  • new palm oil plantations;
  • destruction of critical habitats;
  • production or trade in pharmaceuticals, pesticides/herbicides, chemicals, ozone depleting substances and other hazardous substances subject to international phase-outs or bans;
  • production or use of or trade in hazardous materials such as radioactive materials (except for medical isotopes and materials for diagnostics and treatment in healthcare provision), unbounded asbestos fibres and products containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs);
  • gambling, casinos and equivalent enterprises or hotels hosting such facilities;
  • ammunition and weapons, military/police equipment, infrastructure or correctional facilities, prisons.

For the full list of Excluded Activities, please check the Terms & Conditions below.



Viable micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in Primary Agriculture or Fishery that meet the eligibility criteria.

SMEs are defined by the standard EU definition contained in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC as enterprises that:

  • have fewer than 250 employees;
  • have a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet);
  • are independent and autonomous, i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises;
  • have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies;
  • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland.

An SME that:

  • does not satisfy the eligibility criteria (see section below);
  • is bankrupt or being wound up or having its affairs administered by courts;
  • is subject to, or fulfil the criteria under domestic law for being placed in, collective insolvency proceedings;
  • in the last five years has entered into an arrangement in the context of being bankrupt or wound up or having its affairs administered by courts;
  • has been convicted of an offence concerning professional misconduct by judgement, fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organisation, money laundering or any other illegal activity where such illegal activity is detrimental to the European Union’s financial interests.

For the full list, please check the Terms & Conditions below.



SMEs must satisfy one of the following Brexit criteria.

  1. Export products, services or raw materials to the UK (including Northern Ireland) equating to at least 15% of business turnover.
  2. Import products, services or raw materials from the UK (including Northern Ireland) equating to at least 15% of business turnover.
  3. The combined exposure (of 1 and 2 above) equates to at least 15% of business turnover.
  4. The business is indirectly exposed to the UK (including Northern Ireland), i.e. transacts products, services or raw materials with an enterprise that is directly exposed to the UK (including Northern Ireland) equating to at least 15% of turnover.

For the full list of Eligibility Criteria, please check the Terms & Conditions below.


Once an applicant has received the eligibility confirmation letter from the SBCI (step 1 of the application process), they must submit their credit application, together with the eligibility letter/code, to the following on-lenders (step 2).

  • Bank of Ireland is open for applications for the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme.

The SBCI expects to announce additional scheme partners in the coming week. Please check sbci.gov.ie for updates

The Scheme will operate under a combination of State aid measures including:

For the complete text on State aid rules, please refer to the relevant Regulations.

The information provided by the applicants will be shared with, amongst others, the SBCI and its authorised agents, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Court of Auditors (ECA), the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

Please see the SBCI Data Protection Statement here

See link below

NACE Codes

In addition to the criteria listed in the “Loan Features” section above, the financing arrangements must meet the following criteria:

  • the loan must be provided in compliance with the relevant State aid regime;
  • the loan must be made available in a Member State;
  • the loan must be entered into by 31 December 2021;
  • the loan must be granted for one or more of the following purposes:
    • investment in tangible and/or intangible assets; and/or
    • working capital/liquidity needs; and/or
    • refinancing of existing obligations as defined by the on-lender’s credit and collection policies;
  • the loan must be term loan denominated in Euro;
  • the loan must have a minimum maturity of one year;
  • the final maturity date of the loan must not fall after 30 December 2037;
  • the loan must comply with any applicable transfer of benefit terms under the regime;
  • the loan shall not finance illegal activities or artificial arrangements aimed at tax avoidance;
  • the documents governing the loan must be legal, valid, binding and enforceable under applicable law; and
  • the loan must not finance transactions with a sanctioned person.

In addition to the excluded activities listed above, loans will not be provided to SMEs or Small Mid-Caps that have a substantial focus in any of the following sectors:

  • production or trade in wildlife or wildlife products regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  • cross-border trade in waste and waste products unless compliant with the Basel Convention and the underlying national and EU regulations but for the avoidance of doubt, use of waste as a fuel in district heating is not excluded;
  • live animals for scientific and experimental purposes, including the breeding of these animals, unless in compliance with the EU Directive 2010/63/EU as amended by Regulation (EU) 2019/1010 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes;
  • production or activities involving harmful or exploitative forms of forced labour or harmful child labour;
  • any business relating to pornography or prostitution;
  • production or trade in any product or activity deemed illegal under host country laws or regulations or international conventions and agreements;
  • commercial concessions over, and logging on, tropical natural forest;
  • conversion of natural forest into a plantation;
  • purchase of logging equipment for use in tropical natural forests or high nature value forest in all regions;
  • activities that lead to clear cutting and/or degradation of tropical natural forests or high nature value forest;
  • any business with a political or religious content; or
  • production and distribution of racist, anti-democratic and/or neo-Nazi media.

The applicant must not use the loan proceeds for:

  • financing of specific export operations;
  • financing current expenditure linked to the export activity;
  • financing contingent upon the use of domestic over imported products; or
  • financing the establishment and operation of a distribution network in other Member States.
  • Aid to primary agriculture, fishery and aquaculture that are subject to conditions as detailed in the relevant De Minimis Regulation.

An SME/Small Mid-Cap that:

  • on account of the relevant loan having been granted under the De Minimis Regulation:
    • (in respect of SMEs) are subject to, or fulfil the criteria under domestic law for being placed in, collective insolvency proceedings;
    • (in respect of Small Mid-Caps) either (i) are subject to, or fulfil the criteria under domestic law for being placed in, collective insolvency proceedings or (ii) have a credit rating that is below B-;
  • is performing research and innovation activities that are related to illegal activities or Excluded Activities (see above); or
  • has a substantial focus in any of the following sectors: illegal economic activities, tobacco and distilled alcoholic beverages, weapons and ammunition, casinos, human cloning or genetically modified organisms or IT sectors relating to internet gambling, online casinos or pornography or which are intended to enable illegal entry of electronic data networks or illegal download of electronic data.

In addition to the Eligibility Criteria listed above, SMEs/Mid-Caps must satisfy all of the following criteria:

  • it is established and operating in a Member State;
  • it does not have a substantial focus on one or more excluded sectors (see Excluded Activities);
  • it is not established in a non-compliant jurisdiction;
  • it is not delinquent or in default in respect of any other loan or lease either granted by the on-lender or by another financial institution unless (i) it has been delinquent for less than 20 (twenty) days and (ii) such delinquency does not dissuade the on-lender from lending to the SME/Small Mid-Cap in accordance with its credit policy;
  • it is not engaged in any illegal activities;
  • it is not a sanctioned person or in breach of restrictive measures;
  • it is not in an Exclusion Situation (as such term is defined in the Application Form); and
  • it is not subject to any preferential tax measure regarded as harmful under the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

There is a two-step process to apply for a loan:

STEP 1 - The first step is to check your eligibility to apply for a loan under the Scheme by completing the Eligibility Application Form. If your application is successful, you will receive an eligibility letter/code. Please note, the SBCI eligibility letter/code is not a guarantee of loan approval.

STEP 2 - Once you receive your confirmation eligibility code, you must then engage with the Scheme’s participating on-lenders to begin their standard loan application process. It is only at this stage that a decision will be made on credit approval.


Loans of €25,000 up to €1.5 million can be applied for under the Scheme.

Please note, Small Mid-Caps can apply for up to maximum €1.4 million.

Loans will be up for periods of up to six years in duration.

The SBCI eligibility number is valid for six months from the date of issue, but always subject to the Scheme remaining open and having funding available.

No. The SBCI eligibility letter/code represents a unique number that can be associated with one loan only. If you wish to apply for more than one loan under the Scheme, you can do so by completing a new Eligibility Application Form and getting a new eligibility code.

This depends on the loan amount involved and if the finance provider has all the information it needs to process an application. The lenders’ websites provide details on their loan application times.

Yes. You can even apply to all the participating finance providers; however, you cannot exceed the maximum loan amount available under the Scheme (€1.5 million).

Please note, if you want to apply to different finance providers, you will have to complete multiple Eligibility Application Forms. The single SBCI eligibility letter/code can be used only once.

The interest rate applicable to the loan will depend on the finance provider chosen.

For loans of up to €500,000 no personal guarantee and no security is required. Loans >€500,000 may be secured; however, a personal guarantee may only be sought in circumstances where it is required to capture supporting security, or where it is an uncollateralised personal guarantee and is limited to a maximum of 20% of the loan amount.

Yes. You can get more than one loan provided that the total of those loans does not exceed the maximum loan amount available under the Scheme.

The maximum amount of loan(s) you can get under BILS is €1.5 million.

Yes, provided that each of these loans is less than €500k. Loans greater than €500k may be secured.

The approval of a loan under the Scheme is subject to the lenders credit policy. The maximum loan amount might not be considered appropriate in every case by the lender. The full amount of the loan may have not been available due to the De minimis threshold.

If you are not satisfied with the reason given, you are initially encouraged to use the lenders' appeals process and if your appeal is unsuccessful then you can avail of the services of the Credit Review Office.

Yes. The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS) allows for the refinancing of existing SBCI Brexit Loan Scheme facilities. The Scheme allows up to maximum 30% of the BILS loan to be used for the refinancing of existing debt products.

State aid can occur whenever State resources are used to aid an entity engaged in economic activity that potentially could distort competition and trade.

The European Commission allows small amounts of State aid to be given to an entity as long as the aid complies with the De minimis Regulations and remains below a certain threshold. Examples of sources of State aid may include funding under schemes from Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia or a Local Enterprise Office.

The maximum amount of De minimis aid any single recipient can receive is €200,000 (gross grant equivalent) over a three-year fiscal period. The total amount of De minimis aid given to a single recipient performing road freight transport for hire or reward cannot exceed €100,000 over a three-year fiscal period.

For loans under BILS, the amount of De minimis aid which is provided to a borrower is determined by the size and duration of the loan under the De minimis rules.

The De minimis aid is not equal to the total amount of the loan.

Where you have received State aid, you will have received a letter from the State body that provided it. Examples of State aid granting bodies include Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia or the Local Enterprise Office.

It stands for the “Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community” and is the standard system used in the European Union for classifying business activity. NACE codes are divided into sectors, such as retail, manufacturing, services etc.

A searchable list of NACE Codes associated to BILS is available here

It means that the main presence of business is in the Republic of Ireland.

This is a person who is authorised to sign declarations on behalf of the business, e.g. the business owner or the CEO.

Loans are available up to 31 December 2021.

Under the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme loans can be used to fund working capital, investments in the business and the refinance of existing debt products, such as Brexit Loan Scheme facilities. For non-Brexit Loan Scheme products refinancing is limited to 30% of the new loan amount.

In general, the purchase of property is excluded from the Scheme. However, if a business is purchasing a premise for its own utilisation, then this can be considered an eligible purpose for the Scheme. Given that the maximum term of loans under BILS is 6 years, it may be more advantageous for businesses to consider a longer term product such as a commercial mortgage which could provide terms of up to 15 years.

No. As is the case with other EU supported schemes, the purchase of land is not an eligible purpose under the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme.

Yes. The addition of commercial farm buildings onto existing land is a permissible purpose for the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme.

Yes. The purchase of new equipment is a permissible purpose under the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme.


The BILS loan is a variable rate loan, therefore it is at the discretion of the borrower should they wish to make out of course or accelerate repayments to their loan at any time during the life of the loan.

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A medium-term, lower cost scheme to fund working capital and investments for businesses, including primary producers, impacted by Brexit and Covid-19.