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Juncker Plan: New funding opportunities for Swedish SMEs with higher risk profiles

    Date: 24 October 2019

Marginalen Bank will lend up to SEK 200 million (EUR 18.5m) to Swedish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), within the framework of a COSME guarantee agreement signed with the European Investment Fund (EIF). The COSME guarantee focuses on helping companies with slightly higher risk profiles, who need to borrow between SEK 250.000 and SEK 1.5 million. In Sweden, tens of thousands of companies are often excluded from bank loans because of their risk profiles. The COSME guarantee is Marginalen Bank’s fourth EIF programme.

“Swedish SMEs represent the growth engine of the Swedish economy and thus also play a central role in combating unemployment. Access to funding for these companies has long been limited, especially for companies with higher risk profiles. Our Restart loan has long been available to private customers who have otherwise found it difficult to get a loan. Together with the EIF, we can now also offer SMEs with similar challenges new types of financing solutions”, says Ewa Glennow, CEO of Marginalen Bank.

The COSME programme stands as guarantor for 50 percent of an individual loan and complements the EaSI guarantee scheme for Microfinance, aimed at SMEs that need to borrow up to SEK 250,000, which was signed between the EIF and Marginalen Bank in late 2018. The agreement is supported by the Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments. Marginalen Bank can lend up to SEK 200 million and  the total budget amount committed to Marginalen Bank in the context of the COSME programme amounts to SEK 10 million. The portfolio of SEK 200 million gives up to 800 companies in Sweden the possibility to benefit from this new financing opportunity.

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “To obtain financing is particularly challenging for small businesses with a higher risk profile. I am glad that the COSME programme, with the support of the Juncker Plan, is providing substantial support for such companies in Sweden to exploit their potential for growth and job creation.”

“In line with our mission, supporting financing to SMEs has a very significant impact on both economic growth and employment,” says EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert. “After the recent agreement with Marginalen Bank for the creative and cultural sectors, we’re very glad to continue and extend our collaboration to the benefit of Swedish businesses.”

According to the credit reference agency UC, tens of thousands of Swedish companies, in different corporate forms, have higher risk profiles. This means that they have great difficulty in obtaining funding.

A particularly vulnerable group of companies that the COSME guarantee can help are businesses in rural areas with a slightly higher risk profile. These companies suffer to a greater extent from the problem of having too little collateral to be granted funding, because property values are significantly lower in rural areas than in urban areas. The “Räcker pengarna” ("Is the money enough") (2017) 

study by Tillväxtverket (The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth) confirmed this problem.

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 is devoted to improving 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. COSME Equity Facility for Growth helps provide risk capital to SMEs mainly in the expansion and growth stages.

About the European Investment Fund (EIF)
Part of the European Investment Bank. The central objective of the EIF is to support the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of Europe by helping them to access funding. The EIF designs and develops risk and growth capital, guarantees and micro-funding instruments that specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF encourages the EU's objectives of supporting innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment. 

About the Marginal Bank

Marginalen Bank Bankaktiebolag (publ) is part of ESCO Marginalens consolidated situation and is under the supervision of Finansinspektionen. Marginalen Bank, which is certified according to ISO 9001: 2015, offers individuals and companies simple and clear banking services in the areas of loans, saving, card and insurance. The Bank's savings accounts are covered by the State Deposit Guarantee. The Group also includes Marginalen Core, which offers companies and authorities services in the fields of Law, Debt collection, Finance administration and HR. Marginalen Bank, in turn, is a parent company in the Group that was formed in connection with the acquisition of the subsidiaries Sergel Finans AB, Sergel Finans Oy and Sergel Finans AS in June 2017. The finance companies own and acquire credit portfolios in each country. Marginalen Bank has around 300 000 customers and approximately 350 employees in offices in Stockholm, Borås and Sundsvall. Marginalen Bank is owned by the parent company Marginalen AB.

For more information, contact:
Anders Karlström
Head of Communication
+46 707353677

Tim Smit
+352 691 286423

European Commission:
Siobhan Millbright
Tel: +32 (0) 229 57361


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