The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a EUR 500 million loan to BBVA designed to ease access to finance for SMEs mainly in the industrial and service sectors. BBVA will provide a further €500 million, meaning that a total of EUR 1 billion will be made available for small Spanish businesses. The loan agreement was signed this morning in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and BBVA’s CEO, Carlos Torres Vila.

These funds will be used to provide finance on favourable rate and maturity terms to SMEs and midcaps in a wide range of productive sectors. The individual loans will finance investment of up to EUR 25 million in the case of SMEs and up to EUR 50 million in the case of midcaps.

The projects eligible for financing will be located mainly in Spain and around 20% of the funds will be earmarked for investment in convergence regions.

This is the second operation of this type with BBVA and comes under the EIB’s policy of supporting small and medium-sized businesses as a key means of fostering economic recovery and 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 that year, the EIB made available EUR 7 603 million in new credit lines for SMEs, benefiting more than 62 000 companies and self-employed entrepreneurs.