The European Investment Bank opened credit lines in support of small and medium-sized companies in Spain with two €200 loans to Banesto and Banco Popular. The EIB loan granted to Banesto is its first with the Spanish entity under the Bank’s new SME credit strategy and it will facilitate access to finance in the current economic crisis. In both cases, the capital line will carry favourable maturity and interest rate terms, which the banks will pass on to its borrowers.
Banesto will match the loan with a further €200 million for financing the projects targeted, bringing the total amount made available to SMEs to €400 million.
The loans will mainly serve to finance investment by SMEs in the industry and service sectors, helping to increase their productivity, fostering the rational use of energy and diversification of energy sources, and promoting private enterprise in the health and education sectors. Around 50% of the loan will go to projects located in convergence regions.
This programme comes under the EIB’s policy of facilitating SMEs’ access to credit by applying simplified and more flexible procedures.
“In return,” the pan-European financial institution said, “it is required greater transparency from the intermediary banks, which must clearly inform their customers of the improvements to the terms of their loans made possible by the EIB funding.”
In 2011, the EIB Group provided a record €3 billion of finance for small and medium-sized businesses, reaching more than 120,000 companies throughout Europe. It signed loan agreements in Spain totalling €9,079 million, including €1,388 million in support of investment by Spanish SMEs