Monday 5 December 2016

Strategic Banking Corporation loans out almost €45m to over 1,600 SMEs

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 30/07/2015 | 09:08

Taoiseach Enda Kenny,Tanaiste Joan Burton and Minister for Finance Michael Nooan and Chief Executive of SBCI, Mr Nick Ashmore at the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) launch for the first phase of loans for SMEs and agri-business. Photo: Mark Condren.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny,Tanaiste Joan Burton and Minister for Finance Michael Nooan and Chief Executive of SBCI, Mr Nick Ashmore at the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) launch for the first phase of loans for SMEs and agri-business. Photo: Mark Condren.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has revealed that €44.7m worth of loans has been drawn down by small and medium businesses since mid-March.

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The SBCI, which was set up last year to provide low-cost loans to small businesses, said that since the first SBCI loans were made available from mid-March this year 1,626 SMEs have drawn down funding.

The SBCI works through third-party lenders, giving them money at low interest rates which are then passed on to SMEs. Half of its €800m fund has already been allocated to BoI and AIB.

It was created to address an acute shortage in lending for Ireland's small businesses, who cumulatively provide the majority of the country's jobs.

Almost 90pc of all loans were for investment purposes, and close to a third of loans drawn were in the agricultural sector.

SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore said: “The SBCI has made an excellent start. We are very encouraged to see almost €45 million of loans approved and drawn down by SMEs since March,.

“It is early days but momentum is gathering and the SBCI team has been working hard to create awareness of these loans amongst the Irish SME community to support the growing appetite for business investment.

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