The European Investment Bank (EIB) and BNL Gruppo BNP PARIBAS have signed an agreement in Rome to provide financing of EUR 300m for small and medium-sized enterprises.

On the basis of this agreement, the EIB will make EUR 300m of its medium to long-term own resources available to BNL. BNL also undertakes to provide own funds to the beneficiary SMEs, thereby increasing the total amount available to support the Italian economy.

Through its network in Italy, BNL will select the investment projects and evaluate and disburse the loans. The funds will be managed by BNL and BNP PARIBAS Lease Group (BPLG).

Projects costing up to EUR 25m promoted by SMEs in the industrial and services sectors throughout Italy are eligible for financing. The EIB funds can cover up to 100% of the project cost, with a maximum of EUR 12.5m per project. The instruments deployed will include both long-term loans and financial or real estate leasing. Part of the funds is intended to be channelled to southern Italian regions.

This operation confirms the tradition of cooperation between the EIB and BNL in Italy in support of SMEs. Two years ago a similar operation was signed with all funds allocated to the beneficiary SMEs within the time frame provided for in the contract.

“SME financing remains one of the EIB’s priority areas of action in Italy, made possible by the excellent, historical and increasing cooperation with the banking system which, as shown by this operation with BNL Gruppo BNP PARIBAS, enables SMEs throughout the country to benefit from EIB funding in terms of maturity and cost”, remarked Dario Scannapieco, EIB Vice-President with responsibility for operations in Italy, Malta and the Western Balkans.

“This new agreement with the EIB”, declared Fabio Gallia, Chief Executive Officer of BNL, “provides the latest confirmation of BNL’s role as a key bank for small and medium-sized enterprises. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Italian businesses and, like a true partner, support them in their development both domestically and on the international markets thanks in part to the BNP PARIBAS Group’s presence in over 80 countries worldwide”.



The European Investment Bank supports the strategic and policy objectives of the European Union by granting long-term loans for economically viable investment projects. The EIB’s shareholders are the 27 EU Member States. Italy is one of the four leading shareholders, along with the United Kingdom, Germany and France, each holding a 16.2% stake in the Bank).


Founded in 1913, BNL is one of Italy’s leading banking groups and one of the most recognised brands in the country. With around 900 branches in Italy, BNL offers a wide range of products and services, from the most traditional to the most innovative, to meet the diverse requirements of its customers (private individuals, families, enterprises and public administration).

Since 2006 BNL has belonged to the BNP PARIBAS Group, Europe’s market leader in global banking and financial services, the leading deposit bank in the eurozone, and one of the six strongest banks worldwide according to S&P ratings. The Group is active in over 80 countries, with more than 200 000 employees, of whom 160 000 in Europe. BNP Paribas’s retail banking operations in Europe span four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and it holds key positions in three major business sectors – Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking.