Over €500m in additional credit will be made available to Irish SMEs through the establishment of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), the Government announced today.
The SBCI is a new company and it is intended that it will be initially financed by the German Promotional Bank KfW, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the directed portfolio of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). The involvement of KfW follows directly from discussion between the Taoiseach and Chancellor Merkel following Ireland’s successful exit from the EU/IMF Programme on finding ways to reinforce Ireland’s economic recovery.
Today’s announcement marks the delivery of a key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2014, and comes as the Government published the ninth Action Plan for Jobs Quarterly Progress Report, showing that 97 out of the 103 measures earmarked for delivery in Q1 2014 have been implemented.
Speaking at today’s announcement, the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said: “Jobs are the top priority of the Government. Stability creates jobs, attracts investment and grows economies. This Government has stabilised the national finances and has put Ireland on the road to recovery. We are now seeing over 1,000 jobs a week being created in the private sector, the highest rate of employment growth across the OECD. The Action Plan for Jobs will continue to deliver on our target to create 100,000 new jobs by 2016. I’m delighted that the Government is establishing the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, a result of the agreement I reached with Chancellor Merkel last year on finding ways to reinforce Ireland’s economic recovery. Using funds from the German promotional bank KfW, the European Investment Bank and the Irish Strategic Investment Fund, the first phase will make over €500 million available for small Irish business.”
The Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore TD said: “Today, we are also announcing that the Government has agreed to establish the Irish Strategic Banking Corporation. This, together with the publication of the legislation on the Strategic Investment Fund, marks the delivery of another important commitment in the Programme for Government. It is another example of the kind of reforms that we have to make, to steer the Irish economy towards a sustainable, export-led growth model that generates more and better jobs”.
Speaking at the announcement of the new funding for SMEs Minister Noonan stated: “The establishment of the SBCI will provide over €500m of additional credit for SME’s and will be a great addition to the SME credit landscape in Ireland. Credit is the lifeblood of all businesses and SMEs will now be able to access loans of greater duration, with enhanced terms and potentially at a lower cost facilitated by the SBCI and its on-lending partners. This will promote greater competition in the SME lending sector, will drive economic growth and job creation in this key sector of our economy. The Government will be prioritising the passage of the required legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas and I expect the SBCI to be facilitating lending before the end of the year.”