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EIF and Bankinter sign Spain's first RSI guarantee agreement for innovative businesses

    Date: 27 November 2012


The EIF and Bankinter today signed Spain's first guarantee agreement  designed to improve access to financing for small and medium enterprises, as part of the Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI), a joint initiative of the European Investment Bank Group and the European Commission. Thanks to this agreement, Bankinter will be able to offer new loans to innovative businesses for a total amount of up to €120 million over the next two years, enabling entrepreneurs to access financing more easily.

Bankinter is the first bank in Spain to offer loans backed by the RSI to innovative businesses, mainly in the manufacturing sector. The purpose of this mechanism is to encourage banks to grant loans of between €25,000 and €3 million to SMEs and small mid-caps carrying out R+D+I activities and in need of financing for their investments and/or working capital. The EIF is selecting the banks that will be able to make use of this mechanism, following an invitation to financial intermediaries for expressions of interest.

In his speech delivered on the occasion of the signing ceremony held today in Madrid, Richard Pelly, Chief Executive of the EIF, said, “I am proud to be signing Spain's first agreement under the new Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI) facility in support of innovative small and medium enterprises. By providing guarantees of 50%, the EIF will help Bankinter to efficiently channel much-needed financing into innovative businesses in the high-technology sector at a crucial time for the Spanish economy.”

Eduardo Ozaíta, Bankinter's Corporate Banking Director, stressed the bank's commitment to business financing, as well as its belief in technology and its determination to promote innovation in the manufacturing sector: “In the past year we have increased our lending to companies by more than 14%, reflecting our determination to continue financing the country's manufacturing activity. The agreement with the EIF will enable us to consolidate this strategy and to help promote innovation as a key factor in the growth of Spain's corporate sector, which will help us pull through this crisis.”

About the EIF

The EIF's central mission is to support Europe's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access funding. The EIF designs and develops venture capital and guarantee instruments specifically for this market segment. As such, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment. The EIF's total net commitments to private equity funds amounted to over €6 billion at the end of 2011. With investments in more than 370 funds, the EIF is a leading player in the European venture capital market due to the scale and scope of its investments, especially in the high-technology and business start-up segments. At the end of 2011 the EIF-guaranteed loan portfolio amounted to more than €4.4 billion spread among some 220 transactions, positioning it as a major European player in the SME guarantee sector and a leading micro-finance guarantor. 

About Bankinter

Bankinter is one of Spain's most solvent financial institutions, with one of the cleanest balance sheets and best quality assets, as was reflected in the report published in September by consultancy Oliver Wyman, after analysing levels of capitalisation of Spanish banks in highly adverse macroeconomic scenarios. According to this report, Bankinter is in the so-called "Zero Group", consisting of the most solvent institutions, with a capital surplus of €399 million in the stress scenarios to which it was subjected.

Bankinter is also a reference institution in the financial market, thanks to its advanced technological development, above-average quality of service for the sector and a clear commitment to innovation and the use of alternative channels in its dealings with customers. Bankinter was recently named the Spanish bank with the best reputation and best range of products and services, by the Reputation Institute's RepTrakTM Pulse España 2012 study.

The Risk Sharing Instrument (RSI)

The RSI is a pilot programme of guarantees in support of financing for SMEs and small- and medium-cap companies involved in research and development (R&D) and/or innovation. The RSI is a joint initiative of the EIF, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Commission. The initiative is backed by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), using the EIF's risk-taking capacity. It complements and forms part of the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) managed by the EIB.

In the framework of this mechanism, the European Investment Fund (EIF) offers guarantees, in exchange for commission, to banks and finance leasing companies, which in turn lend funds to small and medium-size companies. In the event of default, these guarantees cover 50% of the outstanding principal of each loan. Some ten banks are expected to take part in the pilot phase of this initiative, thus enabling the RSI to reach a thousand or so beneficiaries, with a total lending volume of as much as €1 billion.

This invitation is open to financial and credit institutions established and operating in the EU and/or in countries affiliated to the FP7, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Israel, Turkey, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Faroe Islands and Moldavia:


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