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EIF and Banco Popolare sign RSI guarantee agreement in Italy

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    Date: 07 December 2012

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Banco Popolare have today signed the first guarantee agreement, to support lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) under the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI), a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank Group and the European Commission.  

Thanks to the agreement, Banco Popolare will be able to offer up to EUR 120 million of new loans to innovative companies over the next two years, enabling SMEs to gain easier access to debt finance.  

The RSI facility aims to encourage banks to provide loans to SMEs and small mid-caps undertaking research, development or innovation, and seeking finance for investments and/or working capital. Banks are being selected by the EIF following a call for expression of interest for financial intermediaries across Europe.

 

The Risk-Sharing Instrument (RSI) 

RSI is a pilot guarantee scheme which supports the financing of R&D and/or innovation driven SMEs and Small Mid-Caps. The RSI is a joint initiative of the EIF, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission. It is supported by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) and uses EIF's risk-taking capacity. It is part of, and complements, the existing Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), managed by the EIB.  

Under this facility, the European Investment Fund (EIF) is, in return for a fee, providing guarantees to banks and leasing companies that lend to SMEs and Small Mid-Caps. The guarantee covers, upon default, 50% of the outstanding amount of each loan. Some 10 or so banks are expected to be involved in the pilot phase, allowing the RSI to reach up to 1000 beneficiaries with a total loan volume of up to €1.0 billion.

The call is open to financial or credit institutions, established and operating in the EU and/or countries associated to FP7, including, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Faroe Islands and Moldova. 

About the EIF

EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantees instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. The EIF total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over EUR 6bn at end 2011. With investments in over 370 funds, the EIF is a leading player in European venture due to the scale and the scope of its investments, especially in high-tech and early-stage segments. The EIF guarantees loan portfolio totalled over EUR 4.4bn in close to 220 operations at end 2011, positioning it as a major European SME guarantees actor and a leading micro-finance guarantor.  

Press contacts:

- EIF: David Yormesor, tel.: +352 42 66 88 346 d.yormesor@eif.org

- Banco Popolare: media relations, Tel. +39-045-8675048/867/120/121 - ufficio.stampa@bancopopolare.it


 
 

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