Bank of Ireland has today (Wednesday 25 March) signed a €100m loan facility with the European Investment Bank (EIB), to provide funding support to SMEs. The purpose of these EIB-supported finance schemes are to allow the intermediary institutions access to credit lines to fund small and medium-sized enterprises or small scale infrastructure projects, while meeting EU policy objectives. The €100m Business Investment Fund will further strengthen the Bank’s overall SME proposition and reinforces its commitment to the sector. The fund will be available from April 2009.
The aim of the fund is to provide viable businesses with finance to support investment in projects including fixed assets and business expansion. It will be available to new and existing SME customers at a discounted interest rate. Flexible repayment terms are available. The new facility forms part of a series of initiatives offered by Bank of Ireland in support of the SME sector.
Commenting on today’s launch, Denis McArdle, Head of Bank of Ireland Business Banking said: “In the current climate, small businesses are facing significant challenges. We are committed to supporting small businesses and recognise their importance in rebuilding the Irish economy. We have worked in partnership with the EIB for over 20 years to provide funding for SMEs in Ireland and this facility, along with our existing established funds demonstrates our ongoing commitment to developing and supporting this sector”.
Media Relations Manager
Group Corporate Communications
Bank of Ireland
Ph. 01 604 3836 / 087 246 0358
Notes to the Editor:
A small or medium enterprise (SME) with a new investment of less than €25 million, may be considered for EIB supported finance. The investment may be in industry, the hotel/tourism sector, leisure, health, education, wholesale or retail trade or in providing services (including those for private consumers). Finance for property development is excluded.
To qualify as an SME, a company should:
- Have fewer than 250 hundred employees (exceptions possible for labour intensive businesses.
- Have not more than €75 million of net fixed assets per the balance sheet i.e. gross fixed assets less accumulated depreciation).
- Have not more than 25% of their equity owned by another company.