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Over EUR 300m of loans for Spanish SMEs as EIF and Liberbank sign new guarantee agreement

    Date: 29 November 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF), part of the European Investment Bank Group, and Liberbank have signed a guarantee agreement under the SME Initiative facility in Spain.

The agreement aims to facilitate access to finance for Spanish SMEs by providing a 50% guarantee on the financing granted by Liberbank. Thanks to the guarantee, up to EUR 300 million of SME loans and leases will be made available at favourable conditions. The transaction is expected to benefit up to 2,500 SMEs.

Spain was the first country to implement the SME Initiative, committing to contribute an amount of EUR 800 million out of its European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). Liberbank is the 8th bank joining this highly successful SME Initiative, which has already supported more than 21,700 SMEs.

The SME Initiative is a joint programme blending support from the European Commission, EIB Group and Member States with a view to stimulate SME financing by providing partial risk cover for SME loan portfolios originated by financial entities. Alongside European Structural and Investment Funds contributed by Member States, the SME Initiative is co-funded through Horizon 2020 resources as well as benefitting from EIB Group resources. 

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert stated: “I am pleased to be signing this guarantee agreement with Liberbank under the SME Initiative facility in Spain. The combination of European Structural and Investment Funds, resources from the EU and the EIB Group enables risk-sharing, which in turn will allow Liberbank to provide more loans and leases to Spanish SMEs at favourable conditions.”

EIB Vice-President, Román Escolano said: “The EIB Group is pleased to be supporting this signature with Liberbank in Spain under the joint SME Initiative. With this efficient use of the structural funds more SMEs will get access to finance, which is extremely important because those SMEs are decisive drivers of job creation. Bringing access to finance to over 21,000 small businesses under the SME Initiative in Spain is a commendable result.”

Liberbank Chief Executive, Manuel Menendez Menendez added: “This transaction helps us to strengthen the work that Liberbank is undertaking in financing productive investments for SMEs, which are the drivers of our economy”.

Corina Crețu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy noted: “I was in Spain two weeks ago, and I congratulated the local authorities as the SME initiative has already reached over 21 000 small businesses in the country. The SME initiative in Spain is a success, and this new agreement proves it once again. I am confident that many SMEs in the country will benefit from the precious support of this initiative in the future.”

The EUR 800 million contributed by the Kingdom of Spain and the regions concerned is leveraged with commercial lending through a risk-sharing mechanism and is expected to lead to a total financing volume of EUR 5.7 billion. This financial instrument acts as a catalyst for private investment and foster job creation.

About EIF

EIF is part of the EIB Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance 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.

About the EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

About Liberbank

Liberbank is the eighth largest listed Spanish bank, dedicated to the retail business, financing for families and SMEs. It is a market leader and reference bank in the regions of Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura. http://www.liberbank.es/ 

EIF: David Yormesor 

Tel.: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org

EIB: Mercedes Landete 

Tel.: +352 4379 83154, e-mail: m.landete@eib.org


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