The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 450 million loan agreement with CaixaBank aimed at facilitating access to credit for SMEs and midcaps (firms with up to 3000 employees). CaixaBank will match the EIB loan with the same amount, meaning that a total of EUR 900 million will be made available to Spain’s small businesses.

The finance contract was signed in Barcelona today by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and CaixaBank’s CEO, Gonzalo Gortázar.

EIB Vice-President Román Escolano said that “with today’s signature, the European Investment Bank is once again demonstrating its support for Spain’s small and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of the country’s productive fabric and the key to strengthening the recovery and fostering job creation. In this connection, our close cooperation with CaixaBank is an invaluable tool for reaching such firms with our finance at a vital time.”

At the signing ceremony, CaixaBank’s CEO Gonzalo Gortázar stressed that the institution would continue making available “for companies’ new projects, the necessary funds and the personalised advice of CaixaBank’s specialists”. He went on to encourage SMEs “to invest in innovation to add value to their products and services, setting course for the globalisation of their offering". Mr Gortázar also praised “the European Investment Bank’s key role in supporting economic activity and helping to create jobs in Spain”.

These funds will be used to finance the investment projects and working capital needs of SMEs and midcaps mainly in industry and services. The EIB loan will provide such firms with finance on favourable interest rate and maturity terms.

This is the third loan of this kind to CaixaBank in the last two years, bringing the total to more than EUR 1 billion. It forms part of the EIB’s policy of supporting the development of small businesses in order to spur economic recovery and foster job creation.

In 2014, the EIB Group (including the European Investment Fund) provided EUR 25 500 million in support of some 290 000 SMEs and midcaps throughout Europe. In Spain, the EIB made available EUR 7 603 million in new credit lines for SMEs, benefiting more than 62 000 such firms.