The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a EUR 200 million loan to Banco Santander for financing investment projects carried out by small businesses. Banco Santander will match this amount with a further EUR 200 million, meaning that a total EUR 400 million will be pumped into financing SMEs under the loan agreement.

EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez and the CEO of Banca Comercial España, Enrique García Candelas, signed the agreement in Madrid yesterday, giving a boost to SMEs’ business and fostering job creation.

At the signing ceremony, the EIB Vice-President said that “this injection of funds for SMEs – the backbone of our economy – will provide a major stimulus for investment and job creation, which are vital in the current economic circumstances”.

This credit line follows on from the EUR 100 million loan for financing the investment projects of mid-cap companies signed on 15 June by EIB Vice-President Magdalena Álvarez and the CEO of Banco de Santander, Emilio Botín, which was matched by Banco Santander with a further EUR 100 million.

These operations have strengthened the ties between the two institutions and provided access to investment financing for small businesses in a wide range of economic sectors.

As an EU objective, supporting SMEs is one of the EIB’s investment priorities. This loan comes under the EIB’s policy of assisting small businesses in the current economic crisis by facilitating their access to credit with long maturities, flexible disbursement schedules and low interest rates, so ensuring their sustainability and fostering job creation.

In 2011, the EIB Group provided a record EUR 13 billion worth of loans for small and medium-sized businesses, reaching more than 120 000 companies throughout Europe. It signed loan agreements in Spain totalling EUR 9 079 million, including EUR 1 388 million in support of investment by Spanish SMEs.