At a seminar on the subject "European Investment Bank's new financial instruments in collaboration with banks", new possibilities for cooperation between the EIB and the Polish banking community were presented today in Warsaw.

The event, arranged by the Polish Banking Association (Związek Banków Polskich - ZBP) in cooperation with the EIB, focused on:   

  • new loan and guarantee business lines;
  • the Risk Sharing Finance Facility;
  • the EIB's anti-recession instruments, to combat the financial crisis in the EU.

Representatives of almost 100 Polish banks of various types (commercial, cooperative and the state-owned Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego) used the seminar as a platform for the exchange of information about the modern financial engineering instruments offered by the EIB Group (the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund).

Ms Marta Gajęcka, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for lending operations in central Europe, including Poland, commented: "The EIB responded to the current financial crisis that has negative implications for the European economy with new financial instruments, particularly for SMEs. The purpose of this seminar is to make representatives of the Polish banking sector familiar with the new possibilities for cooperation with the EIB in order to cope better with the current financial and economic difficulties". 

 EIB lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will rise by 50% to EUR 15 billion over two years (i.e. an additional EUR 2.5 billion a year). At the same time the EIB is to offer intermediary banks more sophisticated risk-sharing products designed to reach market segments that commercial banks have difficulty penetrating (i.e. SMEs for which the risk is considered too great or the security provided is considered insufficient). A similar and complementary approach is being developed for mid-cap companies for an additional EUR 1 billion a year.

To widen its contribution to research and development, the Bank has developed with its partners flexible new financing arrangements such as the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), set up with the European Commission. By sharing credit risk between the Commission and the EIB, the RSFF extends the Bank's ability to provide loans or guarantees for projects whose promoters have a lower-grade risk profile - a concrete example of the EIB's relatively new strategy of financing higher-risk operations where this is justified by the Bank's strategic objectives.


The remit of the EIB, the European Union's long-term financing institution, is to contribute to the integration, balanced development and economic and social cohesion of the Member States by financing sound investment. Since 1990 the EIB has signed finance contracts in Poland amounting to EUR 18.3 billion. In 2008 alone, EIB loan signatures in Poland amounted to some EUR 2.83 billion, an increase of around 25% compared to 2007.

To improve access to long-term finance during the current financial crisis, the EIB's Board of Directors has approved an increase in its total lending volume of some 30% compared with the level of previous years (EUR 15 billion in both 2009 and 2010). The additional aggregate investment value expected to be leveraged in 2009 and 2010 should reach around EUR 72 billion, based on a historical leverage effect of five times the Bank's financing.