The European Investment Fund (EIF) has entered into a lending guarantee agreement boosting investment facilities for Swedish small businesses.
The EIF, a branch of the European Investment Bank which focuses on supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), has signed an agreement with its first private Swedish lending body DBT Företagslån (DBT) under the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, which provides participating lenders with a degree of insurance when lending to SMEs. The guarantee agreement enables DBT to lend up to €80 million to SMEs in Sweden; while the EIF has made similar agreements with lenders in Sweden before, all previous recipients of EIF support have been state-sponsored lenders.
Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Thanks to this financing agreement with DBT, Swedish companies wishing to scale their business or expand their production capacity have another source to apply to for financial support. Thanks to the Investment Plan’s backing of the European Investment Fund, already more than 10,000 SMEs in Sweden can benefit from loans at favourable terms.”
EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “Signing the first private lender in Sweden is a great milestone for us, and proof of the necessity of offering this type of guarantee scheme. Access to finance is a chronic issue ever since the financial crisis and the EIF remains fully committed to address the issue with all the means it has.”
By taking the InnovFin guarantee into account in its lending operations, DBT will now be able to offer more generous financing terms to its SME clients. The agreement is projected to reduce the risk involved in the lending process both for DBT and recipient SMEs.
Alexis Kopylov, CEO of DBT, said: “We are incredibly proud that the EIF after thorough due diligence and a comprehensive approval process has approved DBT for its InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility. For DBT, this is a great testament of our lending operations and the dedicated and robust way in which we have built DBT since start. The guarantee facility is an important milestone in DBT’s ambition to build the leading lender to small and medium-sized companies. For our customers, this means that we now can offer a more favourable interest rate as a result of the EIF InnovFin guarantee.”