The European Investment Bank says Irish small and medium-sized firms should begin to benefit in the coming weeks from a total of €300m it is making available for loans.
The EIB says three banks – AIB, Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland – will act as intermediaries, passing on the funds to companies with projects ‘which further EU policy objectives’.
These new loans are in addition to €50m recently made available to Bank of Scotland (Ireland) to finance investment projects.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, speaking at the initiative’s launch in Dublin this morning, described it as a ‘significant facility’ for small businesses.
The EIB’s Plutarchos Sakellaris said ensuring access to finance for small firms was a crucial element of the bank’s strategy to help Europe through the current crisis.