05 Nov 2015 | 12.11 pm
SBCI Boost For Car Fleet Funding
Merrion Fleet is SBCI’s second non-bank lender
05 Nov 2015 | 12.11 pm
The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) is making available €25 million to Merrion Fleet for contract hire vehicle finance.
The Merrion Fleet offering is aimed at SMEs who want to buy new cars or upgrade their existing fleet without taking on the risks and maintenance costs of taking long-term ownership.
SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore (pictured) said: “We want to drive down borrowing costs for SMEs by bringing more competition to the market and supporting types of finance that are tailored to the needs of SMEs.
“Bringing Merrion Fleet on board as our fourth on-lender, and importantly our second non-bank lender, represents another major step towards achieving this goal. We are also delighted to be supporting such a strong emerging indigenous finance firm as it grows its business and extends its offering to SMEs.”
Finance minister Michael Noonan commented: “This latest non-bank partnership with Merrion Fleet will provide an additional €25 million in funding to SMEs. Non-bank finance is a vital source of funding to a growing economy. Seventy-five percent of SME funding in developed economies such as the US comes from non-bank sources, in Ireland it is only about twenty-five percent. This latest announcement from the SBCI will provide greater options for SMEs to expand.”
Merrion Fleet has a fleet of approximately 5,400 vehicles composed of 3,300 contract hire units and 2,100 fleet management only units. The company employs 55 people at its premises in Sandyford, Dublin.
The SBCI claims that 3,200 SMEs are now putting close to €110 million in SBCI funding to work for their business. The organisation is tasked with deploying €800 million of finance to Irish SMEs through the banks and on-lenders such as Merrion Fleet.
Last week, SBCI announced that Finance Ireland would deploy a further €50m in SBCI loans for leasing and hire purchase for SMEs.
SMEs which are eligible for SBCI loans are defined as “independent enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding €50m and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43m”.