The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 200 million loan to Banco Popular for financing the investment projects of small and medium-sized businesses, mainly in the industry and service sectors.
The loan agreement was signed in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez Arza and Banco Popular’s Business Director General, Ángel Rivera, in the presence of Banco Popular’s President, Ángel Ron.
The EIB loan will carry favourable maturity and interest rate terms, which Banco Popular will pass on to its borrowers. Banco Popular will match the loan with a further EUR 200 million for financing the projects targeted.
The loan will mainly serve to finance investment by SMEs in the industry and service sectors, helping to increase their productivity, fostering the rational use of energy and diversification of energy sources, and promoting private enterprise in the health and education sectors. Around 50% of the loan will go to projects located in convergence regions.
This loan comes under the EIB’s policy of facilitating SMEs’ access to credit by applying simplified and more flexible procedures. In return the EIB requires greater transparency from the intermediary banks, which must clearly inform their customers of the improvements to the terms of their loans made possible by the EIB funding.
In 2011, the EIB Group provided a record EUR 13 billion of finance for small and medium-sized businesses, reaching more than 120 000 companies throughout Europe. It signed loan agreements in Spain totalling EUR 9 079 million, including EUR 1 388 million in support of investment by Spanish SMEs.