08 Nov 2017 | 07.37 am
SBCI’s Lower Cost Flexible Finance For SMEs
SMEs from a wide variety of sectors can access low-cost SBCI loans
08 Nov 2017 | 07.37 am
The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has now been in operation for two years. When we were set up we had a clear mandate in the wake of the financial crisis to enable access to flexible funding for Irish SMEs, writes Nick Ashmore, CEO of the SBCI
As Ireland’s first promotional institution, we are not a retail bank. Instead, we act as a conduit for lower-cost finance from domestic and European sources to banks and non-bank providers servicing the Irish SME market. To date, we have raised €1.25 billion in funding for this purpose.
AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, along with five non-bank lenders have so far provided more than 10,500 Irish SMEs with lower-cost SBCI loans. The loans are appealing to almost every sector of the SME market and all across the country.
Currently, we offer the following range of loans via our lenders:
- Working capital
- Fleet finance
- Leasing & HP
- Invoice discounting.
In addition to these, we have recently announced our newest offering of a low-cost flexible agriculture loan, which provides cash-flow support for farming enterprises at a rate of 2.95%.
SBCI loans deliver cashflow advantages – lower cost and longer repayment periods. Businesses have benefited from an average of 1.5% reduction in interest rates for loans.
Bringing non-bank lenders into the market is a way of driving competition and has meant that we can provide more niche loan products based on market needs and addressing gaps for SMEs.
Promoting Sensible Borrowing
We continue to promote awareness of our loans and encourage all businesses to consider the value of availing of lower interest rates and greater flexibility. Businesses in Ireland are understandably either reluctant to borrow or have faced barriers to borrowing following the financial crisis
Essentially, our message has been that sensible borrowing (seeking out low costs and shopping around) can be a smart way to realise ambitious growth plans.
• SMEs and business advisers interested in finding out more about the SBCI can visit our website sbci.gov.ie. Follow us on Twitter @SBCIreland.
Photo: (L-R) Roger Havenith, the European Investment Fund; Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance; Werner Hoyer, European Investment Bank; and Nick Ashmore, CEO of SBCI