Bank of Ireland announced today that it is participating in the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland's (SBCI) new lending scheme for SMEs and agri customers. The Banks' partnership with the SBCI will provide for a fund of €200 million, the full discount of which will be passed on to SME and agri customers. The fund will be available from 9 March 2015 and customers should contact their local branch or business centre.
The new lending scheme is a State backed initiative aimed at offering competitive rates to assist with new long term working capital and capital investment finance. Independent SMEs with less than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet of less than €43 million will be eligible to apply for funding.
The funding can be used for a number of activities to develop a business such as the purchase, renovation or extension of the business premises or for IT infrastructure or Research and Development expenses. The term loan specifications set out for the new funding include a minimum loan amount of €25,000 with a maximum loan amount of €5 million and the term of the loan facility from a minimum of two years to a maximum of ten years.
Nick Ashmore, SBCI Chief Executive, said: "Bank of Ireland has been at the forefront in terms of delivering the first SBCI funding programme to market working closely with the SBCI team. We are excited about the breadth of market coverage and geographic reach that Bank of Ireland provides and are excited to see the SBCI's offering complement their existing range of programmes and supports for business customers".
Commenting on the announcement Mark Cunningham, Director, Bank of Ireland Business Banking said: "As Ireland's No 1 bank for business customers we welcome the availability of this fund to add to the broad range of products and other key services that we offer to support and develop our business customers. We continue to support our SMEs and start-ups over a range of activities to include our bi-annual National Enterprise Weeks, our partnerships with Twitter and Facebook and our involvement in a number of programmes aimed at enabling SMEs to grow and develop their businesses. The new SBCI lending scheme is a further extension of our commitment to provide lending to these companies.
"I encourage all SMEs and agri customers that are looking to secure funding for their business to come and speak to us. We have credit available and our team of business relationship managers are on hand to meet with customers to help them grow and develop their businesses", concluded Mark Cunningham.