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Investment Plan for Europe: EIF and British Business Bank sign GBP 30m agreement for innovative businesses

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    Date: 23 May 2016

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the British Business Bank, have signed an InnovFin agreement for SMEs, benefiting from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

The InnovFin agreement will enable British Business Bank to provide guarantees on bank loans to innovative companies in the United Kingdom over the next 2 years with the support of a counter-guarantee provided by EIF and backed under Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The EU support for innovative UK companies is expected to generate a portfolio of GBP 30m (c. EUR 38m) of bank loans.

Commenting on the signature, EIF’s Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “The British Business Bank is one of our key partners in the UK and we are delighted to expand our cooperation by signing this EFSI InnovFin SME Guarantee agreement for the benefit of innovative SMEs. This new transaction will allow innovative UK companies to have access to a new funding source. This year alone together with the British Business Bank, we have committed well over GBP 200 million to UK SMEs”.

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "The EIB's collaboration with the British Business Bank – which is supported by the Investment Plan for Europe – is very important. The UK is full of innovative start-ups and small businesses which require a helping hand to grow their companies, and today's news will certainly help many aspirations become a reality."

Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank, said: “This first £30m of the British Business Bank’s Help to Grow programme will enable innovative and ambitious smaller businesses to raise the debt they need to fund their growth opportunities. It is an important milestone for the British Business Bank in our ambitions to encourage and support UK businesses to scale-up and achieve their potential. We want to replicate the drive and dynamism evident in the UKs start-up culture in later stages of the small business journey, and Help To Grow has a critical role to play in achieving that. We are pleased to announce our partnership with Lloyds Banking Group and to be working with the European Investment Fund to bring this vitally important finance to the UK market.”

The deal signed today in the UK reflects the EU's commitment to rapidly launch concrete initiatives under the EFSI, accelerating lending and guaranteeing transactions capable of boosting jobs and growth in the EU.

About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) 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. More information on the EIF's work under the EFSI is available here.

About British Business Bank plc

The British Business Bank makes finance markets for smaller businesses work better, enabling the sector to prosper, grow and build economic activity. Its objectives are to:

  • increase the supply of finance available to smaller businesses where markets don’t work well
  • create a more diverse and vibrant finance market for smaller businesses, with a greater choice of options and providers
  • build confidence in the market by increasing smaller businesses’ understanding of the options available to them
  • achieve this whilst managing taxpayer resources efficiently and within a robust risk management framework.

British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. The British Business Bank operates through a number of wholly-owned subsidiaries, including British Business Finance Limited. Neither British Business Bank plc nor British Business Finance Limited is authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. More information can be found at www.british-business-bank.co.uk

Lenders wishing to apply for support from the Help to Grow programme can find out more at http://british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/growth-loans/

About the Investment Plan for Europe

The Investment Plan focuses on removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources. The Investment Plan is already showing results. The European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates that by April 2016, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) triggered more than €80 billion of investment in Europe.

Find out the latest EFSI figures including a break-down by sector and by country here. For more information see the FAQs.

About InnovFin

The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility provides guarantees and counter-guarantees on debt financing of between €25,000 and €7.5 million in order to improve access to loan finance for innovative small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-caps (up to 499 employees). The facility is managed by the EIF, and is rolled out through financial intermediaries – banks and other financial institutions – in EU Member States and Associated Countries. Under this facility, financial intermediaries are guaranteed by the EIF against a proportion of their losses incurred on the debt financing covered under the facility.

Press contacts:

EIF: David Yormesor, Tel.: +352 24 85 81 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org 

British Business Bank: Scott Shearer, British Business Bank, Scott.Shearer@british-business-bank.co.uk

European Commission: Siobhán Millbright, Tel.:+ 32 (0)2 29 5736, e-mail: Siobhan.millbright@ec.europa.eu 


 
 

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