SMEs often constitute the economic backbone of many small communities nationwide.
These small to medium size companies sometimes find it difficult to obtain the necessary funds to grow, either because the funds are not there, or because interest rates are simply prohibitively high.
In light of this, an agreement has been signed between a few parties to create an entity that will enable SMEs to access the required funds.
The new Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland has received funding of €400m from the European Investment Bank, €240m from the Government, and €150m from the German state bank, KfW. Loans will be channeled through Bank of Ireland and AIB from December onwards. These loans will be available at more flexible terms than those offered by commercial banks.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and Werner Hoyer, head of the German investment bank, joined Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin for an official signing ceremony.