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COVID-19 recovery plan: European Investment Fund (EIF) increases counter-guarantee support to SIAGI to €235 million thanks to the backing of EU programme COSME

    Date: 14 September 2020
  • European Investment Fund raises credit risk coverage to 80% (60% in the initial programme), thereby stimulating the provision of liquidity loans by French banking networks;
  • The EIF’s counter-guarantee is based on funds from the European Union's COSME programme, provided as an emergency response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The EIF announced today that it has extended its counter-guarantee to SIAGI (Société de caution mutuelle de l’artisanat et des activités de proximité) to €235 million, compared to €75 million previously. This operation forms part of the direct response provided by the European Union and the European Investment Bank Group to SMEs affected by the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With loans ranging from €5 000 to €150 000 guaranteed up to seven years, SIAGI will underpin the cash flow of its current portfolio of 22 000 clients as well as small businesses to be set up in the coming months, and invest in their development – in terms of either internal or external growth.

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said: “We are very pleased to be able to extend our cooperation with SIAGI and thus show Europe’s commitment to supporting SMEs and, in particular, SMEs in the fields of trades and crafts. The European Union and the EIF have very rapidly joined forces to support the economy under the strain of a health crisis, and the extension of the guarantee to SIAGI is a concrete illustration of this.”

Alain Griset, Minister with responsibility for SMEs, welcomed “the EIF’s decision to treble its funding for SIAGI. This €235 million operation sends a fresh signal of support and reassurance to guarantee and sustain the recovery of our micro-enterprises and SMEs in France. This EU initiative chimes with the France Relance plan launched by the French Government on 3 September, which will provide nearly €40 billion to small and medium-sized enterprises.”

European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton added: “Through the COSME loan guarantee facility, the Commission and the EIF have been able to respond very quickly to the coronavirus crisis by making liquidity available immediately to small and medium-sized enterprises. At this very difficult time for many firms, especially the smaller ones, we are mobilising to ensure that more than 2 000 businesses have access to financing rapidly in order to resume their operations.”

Chair of the Board of Directors of SIAGI Karine Desroses said: “This 15-year partnership with the EIF reinforces our strategy of encouraging riskier loans, such as liquidity loans. However, the clock is ticking for implementation before 31 December 2020 – time is running out!”

General information


Founded in 1966 by the Chambers of Trades and Crafts, which are shareholders alongside major banking networks and Bpifrance, SIAGI guarantees loans allocated by local banks to small businesses in the local economy with up to 50 employees and which generate turnover of up to €10 million.

It facilitates access to liquidity loans and investment credits, whether tangible or intangible, for projects concerned with the creation, development or transfer of businesses.

  • Mutual guarantee company specialised in guaranteeing loans to businesses.
    Status of financing company.
  • Breakdown of capital:
    • 60% craft industry (Chambers of Trades and Crafts, and CMA France)
    • 25% seven banking groups
    • 15% Bpifrance
  • Key figures in 2019:
    • €979 million in loans distributed to the local economy
    • 4 700 businesses guaranteed
    • 49% transfer/takeover, 39% growth/development, 12% creation          
  • Economic sectors: crafts, trade, agriculture, independent professions 

About the 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 enterprises by helping them to access finance. It designs and implements venture and growth capital operations, as well as guarantee and microfinance instruments specifically targeting this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.


COSME is the EU Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). For the 2014-2020 period, it has a total budget of €2.3 billion. At least 60% of this amount will be used to facilitate access to finance for SMEs in Europe through two financial instruments. The COSME Loan Guarantee Facility supports guarantees and counter-guarantees granted to financial institutions to help them provide more loans and lease finance to SMEs (loans of up to €150k).

This facility also covers the securitisation of credit portfolios granted to SMEs.

The COSME programme also invests, through the Equity Facility for Growth, in private equity funds that provide venture capital to SMEs, mainly during the expansion and growth phases.

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

Press contacts:

European Investment Fund (EIB Group)

Cyrille Lachèvre, c.lachevre@ext.eib.org, +352 4379 73984, mobile: +33 6 20 42 12 08
Website: www.eib.org/press – Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org


Anne MOREAU, +33 6 89 63 23 11, amoreau@siagi.fr  
Website: www.siagi.com

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