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EIF and BGK double their support for SMEs in Poland to PLN 2 billion under the Juncker Plan

    Date: 31 August 2017

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) are doubling the size of their loans to Polish SMEs from PLN 1 billion to PLN 2 billion (ca. €500 million). The loans are expected to reach close to 10 600 small businesses and entrepreneurs across Poland. The agreement comes under the COSME programme, the European Commission’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and it is made possible by the support of the Investment Plan for Europe, or so-called "Juncker Plan".

An agreement with the EIF signed in 2015 helped BGK to launch a new and effective guarantee product and to support additional financing for SMEs, without requiring hard collateral (e.g. a mortgage) at favourable conditions. During the past 2 years, BGK has already supported more than 3 700 SMEs and entrepreneurs through COSME guarantees. Today's top-up agreement will allow banks cooperating with BGK to continue providing loans with substantially reduced collateral requirements. The agreement has the backing of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It is already expected to mobilise around €7.7 billion in investments in Poland and €225 billion across Europe.

Speaking at the signature ceremony in Warsaw, EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “The demand for SME loans with reduced collateral requirements in Poland, demonstrates the need for EU support for Polish businesses. Therefore I am pleased to be signing a top-up agreement to allow BGK to reach out to around 10 600 businesses. I am convinced that the continuous cooperation with BGK – EIF’s long-term partner – will ensure that many more Polish entrepreneurs with limited access to finance, will be able to grow their businesses and create new jobs”.

BGK President, Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka said: "Proper functioning of SMEs is crucial to the health of the economy as a whole. Warranty programs of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego are also supporting faster development of enterprises. 96 percent of companies using COSME guarantees are micro and small businesses, which have the greatest growth potential. The simple procedures and widespread availability of the BGK offer resulted in the fact that during the 4.5 years of the various guarantee programs we have secured a credit activity exceeding PLN 72 billion.”

Jerzy Kwieciński, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, said: "Data on the implementation of the Juncker Plan in Poland are collected on a quarterly basis. At the end of June we had almost 6,400 agreements with small and medium-sized companies with a total value of more than PLN 1 billion. Polish financial institutions now have an amount of over PLN 3.4 billion to support SMEs. This means that almost PLN 2.5 billion in preferential financing for entrepreneurs remains in the Juncker Plan.”

EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: "Small and medium-sized enterprises drive job creation and growth in Poland and across Europe. The Juncker Plan is working to help ensure that these small businesses have access to the finance they need to innovate, expand and create new jobs. I am glad that today's agreement means that even more businesses are set to benefit from the Plan."

Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz, President of the Polish Bank Association added, "The banking environment positively evaluates COSME's guarantee instruments. This enabled them to combine two sources of financing for entrepreneurs using the proven BGK national model. This is also confirmed by a large group of cooperating banks, both commercial and cooperative. The doubling of the guarantee limit will probably allow for the inclusion in the system of other banks. The NCPs at the Polish Bankers' Association have numerous inquiries about this issue. The BGK and EFI offer is certainly an attractive proposition for customers looking for funding and guarantees on preferential terms."                                

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 EIF's work is available here.

About BGK

BGK, one of EIF’s shareholders, is the only state-owned development bank in Poland. BGK initiates and implements programmes for economic growth in Poland. It is the centre of competence in the financing of infrastructure projects, export, municipal companies and local governments. The Bank develops i.a. systems of sureties and guarantees aimed at stimulating the entrepreneurship. It participates in programmes to improve the situation in the housing market and access to housing for Poles. The Bank manages European programmes and distributes EU funds on a national and regional scale. It is a leading institution in the process of consolidation of public finances.

More information about BGK’s guarantee with EIF counter-guarantee: visit www.bgk.pl

The National Contact Point for Financial Instruments of the EU Programmes

(NCP) facilitates access to preferential financing, generated through EU support, for polish entrepreneurs and financial institutions. The NCP engages in information and promotional actions as well as consultancy. The NCP supports implementation of all EU programmes that involve financial instruments for entrepreneurs, including instruments supported by the Investment Plan. NCP’s services are provided throughout the country and are free of charge. The NCP is located within the Polish Bank Association, under a special partnership agreement. It operates on the basis of a Resolution of the Polish government and is supervised by the Minister of Economy. More about the NCP’s support: www.InstrumentyFinansoweUE.gov.pl


COSME is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) running from 2014 to 2020 with a total budget of EUR 2.3 billion. At least 60% of the programme will be devoted to easing access to finance for SMEs in Europe, with two financial instruments. The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility supports guarantees and counter-guarantees to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance to SMEs. This facility also includes securitisation of SME debt finance portfolios. The COSME programme also invests through the COSME Equity Facility for Growth in equity funds that provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages. The COSME programme builds on the success of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013) which helped to mobilise more than EUR 21 billion of loans and EUR 3 billion of venture capital to almost 400,000 SMEs in Europe.

Businesses can contact selected financial institutions in their country to access EU financing: http://www.access2finance.eu/

About the Juncker Plan

The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called "Juncker Plan", is one of the European Commission's top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB group to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 225 billion in investments and support around 445,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.

In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths. The proposal is in its final stages of negotiation between the European Parliament and the Member States.  

Press contacts:

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

BGK: Anna Czyż
Tel.: +48 22 599 80 67
e-mail: media@bgk.pl 


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