Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen yesterday formally launched the revised SME Credit Guarantee Scheme.
The new scheme replaces the 2012 Scheme which expired in June and increases the guarantee to participating financial providers from 75% to 80% on qualified loans to SMEs. Its aim is to assist viable SMEs, which under normal lending criteria are unable to borrow from their bank, in accessing credit.
The Scheme’s key features include facilities of €10,000 up to €1,000,000, terms of up to 7 years, term loans, demand loans and performance bonds.
The Minister was joined yesterday by Suzanne Sweeney (Head of Lending, Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), Catherine Moroney (Head of Business Banking with AIB), Michael Lauhoff (Director of Business Banking with BOI) and Olaf Fitzsimmons (Head of SME Banking with Ulster Bank).
Launching the Scheme yesterday, Minister Breen said, "It is critical to Ireland’s continued economic growth that our almost 250,000 SMEs are encouraged and facilitated to reach their full potential. Access to adequate credit facilities remains a major barrier in this regard. The Government is committed to helping SMEs to overcome obstacles to growth and productivity and so I am delighted to formally launch the new Credit Guarantee Scheme."
He added, "The relaunched scheme is designed to be even more effective. It increases the guarantee to financial providers from 75% – 80%, has a lower premium charge for the first year, and has the potential for extension beyond the banks to other financial providers."