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EIF backs new €8.1 million Attica Bank scheme to ensure access to finance by vulnerable communities and small businesses across Greece

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    Date: 16 March 2021

Vulnerable communities and small businesses across Greece can now benefit from a new €8.1 million financing scheme managed by Attica Bank and backed by the European Investment Fund (EIF). The new financing will allow entrepreneurs to create jobs and help vulnerable groups boost their business activity through easier access to finance.

Over the next five years, Attica Bank is expected to provide more than 1,200 high-impact loans self-employed entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises, including companies with a short operational history and/or owned by vulnerable groups such as young people, people over 55 years old, recently unemployed, people from ethnic minorities and foreign residents.

Reflecting the business needs of vulnerable groups the average loan size will be around €8,300. Loans will be available from Attica Bank branches across Greece. The new lending programme represents the first Attica Bank financing supported by the European Investment Fund and first financing by Attica Bank under the EaSI scheme,

The new nationwide financing scheme is supported by the European Commissions Employment and Social Innovation Guarantee Instrument for Microfinance (EaSI programme) will be managed by Attica Bank. It is designed to help offset the damaging economic effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on specific sectors of the Greek economy.

Individuals and small businesses will benefit from lower interest rates, reduced collateral requirements and reduced fees depending on their investment focus.

The vulnerable groups and start-ups are expected to make around a quarter of the new high impact financing scheme. The initiative will enable longer term loans, with up to 5 year maturity.

The new EIF financing is part of the EIB Groups COVID-19 response and engagement to strengthen economic resilience and improve access to finance. The new initiative reflects the increased demand in working capital financing from very small businesses caused by the pandemic.

The latest scheme marks the continuation of the EIB Group’s strong cooperation with lenders in Greece. Last year the EIB Group provided €1.2 billion for targeted credit lines managed by 11 leading Greek banks.

Background Information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

In 2020, €2.8 billion of new support for high-impact private and public investment across the country was agreed between the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund and Greek partners, marking a new record for EIB engagement in Greece. Also, a further €4.3 billion was approved by the EIB for future investment.

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

Attica Bank

Established in 1925, Attica Bank is the fifth largest bank in Greece and the biggest non-systemically important bank in Greece. It operates through 55 branches around Greece.

Press contact:

Richard Willis, r.willis@eib.org , tel.: +352 43 79 82155 / Mobile:  +352 621 55 57 58
Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org
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