News from 12-12-2016
SBCI and EIF sign first COSME Agreement in Ireland


The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) have signed the first COSME agreement in Ireland. This transaction is guaranteed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The COSME EFSI counter-guarantee agreement will allow SBCI to support EUR 100 million of loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ireland over the next three years. The loans will be provided as a result of a guarantee from EIF under the COSME programme with financial backing from the European Commission. The agreement will make it possible for SBCI to support additional attractive loans to around 2,000 SMEs through risk sharing initiatives.

Commenting on the signature, EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith said: “SMEs continue to be drivers of economic growth in Ireland and the agreement signed today will help to create jobs and new opportunities in the country. Via its on-lending banks, SBCI will be able to provide EUR 100 million to over 2,000 SMEs in Ireland. I am also pleased to be in Dublin for the opening of the EIB Group Irish office today, which confirms the commitment of the Group to Ireland and the local Irish SME market”.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, said: “Supporting SMEs is a key element of our strategy to boost jobs and growth, particularly in rural areas. Today’s agreement with the SBCI shows that the Investment Plan is playing a crucial role in delivering new financing solutions for smaller Irish businesses, allowing them to expand and create jobs. I hope that the EIB Group’s decision to open an office in Dublin will facilitate many more such agreements in the months and years ahead, especially in the agri-sector.”

SBCI CEO Nick Ashmore said “Today’s signing marks an exciting new phase for the SBCI enabling us for the first time to bring new risk sharing products in the form of guarantees to the Irish market. It will help us deliver the Agriculture Cash Flow Support Loan Scheme in early 2017 and crucially it will allow us to develop new ways for SMEs to get easier access to finance”.

EIF Deputy Chief Executive, Roger Havenith, arrived in Ireland today to sign the new EFSI agreement with SBCI and to attend the opening of the EIB Group’s Irish office in Dublin. The EIB Group supported the launch of SBCI in 2014 and the opening of the new office will now give local entrepreneurs a direct contact point in Ireland for EIF and EIB financing solutions. Entrepreneurs will be able to access finance directly from SBCI’s on-lending banks in Ireland.

Source: SBCI