SBCI Loans Jump 57% In Six Months

03 Aug 2017 | 03.27 pm

SBCI Loans Jump 57% In Six Months

Significant appetite for lower cost funding

03 Aug 2017 | 03.27 pm

Bank loans issued to SMEs with funding supplied by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) grew by 57% in the first half of 2017 to €855m at the end of June.

SBCI-backed loans have been drawn down by 21,130 firms which employ 106,000 people. The average loan size is €42,000, a rise of €2,000 on the average last year.

Much of the increase is down to the launch of the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme in January 2017, which absorbed €118m in loans in its first six months. The finance has been drawn down by 3,500 farms and agri-business SMEs employing around 5,000 people. 

SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore (pictured) said: “These figures demonstrate the SBCI’s strong impact and the significant appetite among Irish SMEs, including farmers, for lower-cost funding that is more flexible and designed to suit their specific needs.

“In just over two years since it started lending, the SBCI has achieved a lot. The pace of SBCI loan drawdowns has grown steadily and SMEs are benefiting from a bigger range of loans and a bigger range of on-lending partners. We are particularly pleased that the first SBCI risk-sharing product rapidly delivered €150m of funding to the agriculture sector. This highlights the SBCI’s effectiveness as a conduit for EU supports that can help Irish SMEs.”

 

SBCI-funding for bank loans means that borrowers pay an interest rate that is 115 basis points less than the market rate for loans of less than €250,000. The agricultural sector accouns for most of the value of loans (23%). The south-west had the most SMEs using the loans, with over 18% of loan numbers by region, while Dublin accounted for 14.8%.

The SBCI plans to announce new lending partners shortly, adding to its seven existing partners made up of three banks and four non-bank lenders: AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Finance Ireland, Fexco, First Citizen Finance, and Bibby Financial Services Ireland.

Further information on how and where to apply for funding is available on the SBCI website.

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