Starting mid-March, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is putting up €350 million for low interest loans to small and medium-sized enterprises in Benelux. As part of the agreement, ING bank will double the loan amount available to SMEs, bringing the total credit injection for the sector up to €700 million.
With the financing supported by the EIB, up to 100% of individual firms’ investment costs can be covered, to a maximum of €12.5 million per project.
“It is very important for small businesses throughout Europe to have access to funds with which they can finance their investments and achieve growth," said Pim van Ballekom, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
“Despite the fact that the economy is picking up again, often, access to credit is still an obstacle for SMEs in the Benelux. By making loans available to SMEs, these businesses can benefit from our excellent credit position as the EU bank. In cooperation with banking partners such as ING, we pass our advantageous AAA rating on by providing more, cheaper and longer-term loans. This is one of the ways in which the EIB, in cooperation with the local banking sector, is offering SMEs a helping hand.”
“We are pleased that the European Investment Bank is once again offering us the opportunity to support our SME clients in this way”, says Koos Timmermans, who is responsible for banking activities in the Benelux at ING.
“Together with previous credit contracts that we have entered into with the EIB, this brings the total amount available for SMEs in the Benelux to €1.65 billion. Our clients are enthusiastic about this and are gratefully making use of the facility. Including this new round of financing, in total we will be helping more than 3,000 companies in the Benelux receive funding on more favourable terms.”