SBCI call for lending partners for €300m Brexit Loan Scheme
Scheme will make €300 million available to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees at a rate of 4% or less
An Tánaiste, Frances Fitzgerald and the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed have today announced that the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) is seeking expressions of interest from banks and other financial intermediaries to partner in a €300m Brexit Loan Scheme.
Funding of €23m was secured in last month’s Budget for the Scheme which will provide affordable working capital to Irish businesses that are either currently impacted by Brexit or will be in the future.
The Scheme aims to make €300 million available to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees at a rate of 4% or less.
This rate represents a significant saving compared with the prevailing rates that are otherwise being offered for similar loans on the market.
The Brexit Loan Scheme will be delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) through commercial lenders to get much needed working capital into Irish businesses.
The SBCI will avail of EU guarantees through the European Investment Bank Group in order to leverage the €23m Exchequer funding to finance the Scheme.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed T.D. said he believes that supporting lower-cost flexible finance is a key Government response to assist businesses in dealing with Brexit.
He described the very successful “Agriculture Cashflow Loan Scheme” has provided a template for this new Scheme.
“Given their unique exposure to the UK market, my Department’s funding ensures that at least 40% of the fund will be available to food businesses.
"Access to this working capital finance will give them time and space to adapt and grow into the future. I look forward to the development of further Brexit response loan schemes for farmers, fishermen and food businesses over the next year.”
The Scheme will run for 24 months from its launch date and SBCI Chief Executive Nick Ashmore said this €300m loan scheme is a very significant support for Irish SMEs to help them address the major challenges that Brexit presents.
Today’s call for expressions of interest shows the SBCI is moving quickly to implement this scheme in the first quarter of 2018.
"We want to ensure SMEs that need targeted low-cost, flexible finance for working capital purposes to deal with Brexit, can get this finance as a matter of urgency.
This scheme is good news for SMEs and good news for lenders that want to support new and existing SME customers. We’re expecting a very strong take-up from lenders to allow us to reach as many SMEs as we can”.
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