AIB is pleased to announce that it has fully allocated the initial EUR 100 million European Investment Bank (EIB) SME Loan Fund. AIB has now formally applied for a second tranche of funding for SMEs.

This initiative is part of AIB’s recapitalisation commitment to the Government for an additional EUR 3 billion in new or additional SME lending in each of 2010 and 2011.

Plutarchos Sakellaris, Vice President, European Investment Bank, responsible for Ireland, said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to increase funding for Irish SMEs through AIB. This is part of our wider engagement to assist SMEs across Ireland and elsewhere in Europe to continue to access investment finance during economically challenging times."

John Irwin, Head of Business Credit Products, AIB said: “Over 1,100 AIB SMEs will benefit from this fund and are investing in their businesses. Sectors that have particularly benefited include Agriculture, Manufacturing and Retail.”

Pictured at her plant in Castleblayney is Rita Shah, one of the customers who benefited from this Fund. Rita is Joint Managing Director of Shabra Plastics & Recycling Limited.  Shabra is Ireland’s only integrated recycling, manufacturing and supply company in the field of plastics, packaging, disposables, paper bags, foil products, dissolvable labels and chemicals for the industrial and catering markets.

Rita Shah said: “Recently AIB has helped secure an EIB loan for us which will enable our expansion plan to go ahead. Shabra has been expanding since 1995 and AIB has played a very solid part in our expansion.”