Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (137)

Robert Troy

Question:

137. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Finance the details of the SBCI business support investment platform and funding for the SME sector obtained via the European Investment Bank. [53288/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) is Ireland’s national promotional institution. The purpose of the SBCI is to deliver effective financial supports to Irish SMEs to address gaps and potential failures in the Irish SME finance market as well as encouraging competition and innovation, and facilitating the efficient and effective use of EU resources and financial instruments. The SBCI achieves this through the provision of low cost liquidity and risk-sharing guarantee activities that support the provision of appropriately priced, flexible funding to Irish SMEs. 

Instead of lending directly to SMEs, the SBCI operates through partner finance providers, known as on-lenders. The SBCI has provided funding to a mixture of both banks and non-bank finance providers and currently has 7 on-lenders, 4 bank and 3 non-bank finance providers: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, KBC, Finance Ireland Limited, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, and FEXCO Asset Finance.

European partners provide long-term funding at attractive rates to the SBCI to support Irish SMEs. The total funding available to the SBCI from these funding partners is currently €1 billion. Of this €1 billion, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided loan facilities of €400m to the SBCI, which have been fully distributed to SMEs via the SBCI’s on-lending partners.

In addition, the SBCI has received guarantees from the European Investment Fund (part of the EIB Group) to support SBCI loan schemes with a total value of €750m. The Schemes supported by these guarantees are the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme (€150m), the Brexit Loan Scheme (€300m) and the Future Growth Loan Scheme (€300m).