New SME bank publishes first annual report

New SME bank publishes first annual report

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) today published its first Annual Report along with a midyear 2016 update.

It showed that he total value of loans drawn down has doubled from €172m in January 2016 to €347m by the end of June.

SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore said: “These figures demonstrate the breadth of the SBCI’s impact and the appetite among Irish SMEs for lower-cost funding that is more flexible and SME orientated.

“It’s great to be able to report that since the SBCI began lending to SMEs in March 2015, the pace of SBCI loan drawdowns has grown steadily as it has expanded its range of on-lending partners and product types.

“We are grateful for the commitment shown by our on-lenders to deliver these results for SMEs. In parallel we’ve seen a growth in new lending in the SME sector and a drop in interest rates for larger SME loans.

“The first year of operation was very focused on setting the foundations for driving choice and competition with five lenders on board by the end of 2015.

“In addition, a key focus has been growing awareness amongst SMEs of the availability of this lower cost finance.

“Our Annual Report today sets out the strategic direction for SBCI for the coming years, noting our role as a conduit for the effective use of EU SME supports relevant to Irish businesses and supporting a variety of types of finance.“

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said: “The SBCI is making substantial progress in establishing itself as a thought leader in how Ireland’s businesses finance themselves.

Its success demonstrates that those who create jobs in the domestic economy can do so with the help of a range of finance providers.

“The SBCI is also offering finance providers new ways of engaging with their customer base.

“Additionally, I welcome the broad regional spread of SBCI lending to SMEs with 85% of lending outside of Dublin.”

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