Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland
In March of this year, a new low-cost loan fund was announced by the SBCI. This new fund could see SMEs and the farming sector have greater ease of access to much-needed funds through some of the country’s major banks. As of late March, its board of six directors has been confirmed, taking this from a pipe dream to a very real and tangible option for the growth of smaller Irish businesses.
This fund will offer long-term working capital through major lending institutions. Its purpose is to offer SMEs and the farming sector more flexible products than are currently available to them. They will offer low-cost funding to financial institutions. The idea being that these savings will then be passed on to SMEs. AIB and Bank of Ireland have already signed up as partners.
So what is the SBCI?
The SBCI is the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland is a new bank launched in the last quarter of 2014. It is hoped that it will become the primary source of funding for SMEs in coming years with the Government hoping that over €5billion will be made available to SMEs in the future.
The initial funders for this new banking venture are the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the KfW German promotional bank.
The SBCI is a strategic SME funding company with the primary goal of creating access to flexible funding for Irish SMEs. The SBCI aims to:
- Provide flexible products with flexible repayment options.
- Provide lower cost funding to major lending institutions to be passed on to SME’s and the farming sector.
- Create real market competition for new entrants to the SME lending market.
AIB are currently offering customers looking for a new business loan of up to €30,000, an answer within 48hours. They are also offering loans at a 2% discount from their Standard Business Loan Rate. Funding of up to €5m for the growth and expansion of your business will be made available. Their terms will be between 2 and 10 years.
Is a loan with SBCI the right choice for your business?
These loans are open to most SMEs. This form of funding is open to your business providing it meets the following criteria:
- The company must have a turnover of €43m or less.
- The company must not be part of a wider group of businesses.
- The company must have less than 250 employees.
- The company must have a significant presence in Ireland.
- The company must have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies.
- It is important to bear in mind that your chosen lending body will need to share your information with the SBCI
We would advise consulting with your local participating lending body in order to ascertain your company’s eligibility for this scheme. If you have any queries at all about this fund and how it could benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us at DCA Accountants.