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EIB Group and Erste Bank join forces to provide additional lending to small and medium enterprises and mid-caps in Austria

    Date: 10 April 2024
  • EIB Group synthetic securitisation will enable Erste Bank to lend up to €196 million to small and mid-sized businesses in Austria.
  • The transaction is the first synthetic securitisation in Austria that falls under the European label for simple, transparent and standardised (STS) transactions.

The EIB Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) has provided Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG (Erste Bank) with a guarantee for a €49 million mezzanine tranche of a synthetic securitisation transaction. The transaction is expected to provide capital relief, as provided for by the EU Capital Requirements Regulation. It is the first synthetic securitisation transaction in Austria that qualifies as simple, transparent and standardised (STS) transaction under the European Securitisation Regulation.

The capital relief will enhance Erste Bank’s risk-taking capacity and create additional lending headroom. As a result, Erste Bank will create a new portfolio of eligible loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in Austria. The portfolio is set to be equal to four times the EIB’s guarantee amount, or up to €196 million. Thanks to this operation, the new portfolio will increase SME investments in Austria. 

The operation is a synthetic securitisation whereby the EIF will issue a guarantee covering a mezzanine tranche for a total of €49 million and referencing a granular portfolio of €907 million of loans to SMEs and mid-caps originated by Erste Bank. The guarantee will be fronted by the EIF and counter-guaranteed by the EIB for the entire amount. The transaction is structured with a 2-year replenishment period and uses synthetic excess spread equivalent to the 1-year expected loss of the reference portfolio. 

EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros, who is responsible for operations in Austria, said: “The transaction with Erste Bank increases support for small and medium sized companies, an important sector of the Austrian economy. I am glad that we can rely on Erste Bank as a trusted partner to provide the financial means needed by businesses in Austria in these challenging times.”

EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt added: “We are very happy to be extending our cooperation with Erste Bank through our proven securitisation expertise and toolkit deployed with the EIB, to unlock financing opportunities for small businesses in Austria.”

Erste Bank Board Member for Corporate Clients Hans Unterdorfer states:“This marks Erste Bank's third synthetic securitisation collaboration with the EIB Group and the very first Austrian synthetic STS securitisation. We highly appreciate the partnership and productive cooperation with the EIB Group, as it supports us in pursuing our goal of always providing the best solutions to the market as a reliable, long-term partner to Austrian enterprises, With the assistance of these EIB Group funds, our clients can accelerate crucial initiatives such as the economy’s green transition and further digitalization, thereby fostering key developmental strides for Austria’s economy and society.”

Background information


The European Investment Bank (ElB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It finances sound investments that contribute to EU policy objectives. EIB projects bolster competitiveness, drive innovation, promote sustainable development, enhance social and territorial cohesion, and support a just and swift transition to climate neutrality. The EIB Group, which also includes the European Investment Fund (EIF), signed a total of €88 billion in new financing for over 900 projects in 2023. These commitments are expected to mobilise around €320 billion in investment, supporting 400,000 companies and 5.4 million jobs.

All projects financed by the EIB Group are in line with the Paris Climate Accord. The EIB Group does not fund investments in fossil-fuels. We are on track to deliver on our commitment to support  €1 trillion in climate and environmental sustainability investment in the decade to 2030 as pledged in our Climate Bank Roadmap. Over half of the EIB Group’s annual financing supports projects directly contributing to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and a healthier environment. Approximately half of the EIB's financing within the EU is directed towards cohesion regions, where per capita income is lower. This underscores the Bank's commitment to fostering inclusive growth and the convergence of living standards.

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 by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment.

Erste Bank

Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG (Erste Bank) is the leading institute for Austria’s Sparkassen (saving banks). Together with the 46 regional Sparkassen, Erste Bank constitutes one of the largest banking groups in Austria, serving about 4.2 million customers, including through more than 765 branches. Erste Bank is part of Erste Group, the leading banking group in Central and Eastern Europe. In the financial year 2023, the operating result of Erste Bank and the Sparkassen amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, earnings before tax were EUR 2.1 billion, and total assets stood at EUR 130 billion at the end of the period.

Press contacts

Donata Riedel, d.riedel@eib.org, tel.: +49 30 590 04 79-0, mobile: +49 151 14659021
Website: www.eib.org/press — Press Office: +352 4379 1 — press@eib.org          

Erste Bank
Peter Klopf, peter.klopf@erstegroup.com | tel.: +43 5 0100 11676

Note: Following the recent withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, we are updating the relevant EIF.org pages.


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