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This is the first loan in a EUR 300m programme approved by the European Investment Bank for the modernisation of digital systems at Spanish banks

The European Investment Bank is helping Spanish banks access cutting-edge digital technologies. Today the EIB and Bankia signed the first of these loans for digitisation in the Spanish banking sector. Bankia Executive Chairman José Ignacio Goirigolzarri and EIB Vice-President Román Escolano signed a EUR 50m loan as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. The aim is to help Bankia to implement a plan for incorporating new technologies into the way it manages information by 2018, in order to improve the digital products already available to its customers and to enable it to innovate and bring new products to the market.

The EIB will grant loans for digitisation totalling EUR 300m to various Spanish banking institutions so that they can offer a broader range of higher quality services to their customers.

The EIB financing programme will support the digitisation and modernisation of the Spanish banking system. Spain is below the EU average in terms of online banking usage. The introduction of cutting-edge digital technologies will enable Spanish banks to become more efficient, improve their mobile services, optimise their information management processes and adapt to the latest developments to better protect themselves from possible cyber attacks. The programme will also have a positive impact for customers, who will be able to access a wider variety of online banking products at the touch of a button.

These loans will be the first time that the EIB has directly financed Spanish banks for their own investments, as the funds will not go to third party beneficiaries, but rather will be used by each bank.

“Producing innovative online banking products is no longer optional for European banks,” said EIB Vice-President Román Escolano at the signing ceremony. “Today the EIB is supporting Bankia with this Juncker Plan loan aiming to accelerate its digital transformation and thereby optimise its efficiency.”

European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen added: “The Investment Plan for Europe is a clear success story, with Spain being one of its biggest beneficiaries so far, both in the public and private sectors. I am delighted that with EFSI support, Bankia will be able to improve its digital services for the benefit of its customers.”

Today's signature brings the EIB Group's total number of signed Investment Plan for Europe operations in Spain to 16. In addition to those that have already been signed, the EIB has approved another nine loans related to the automotive sector, RDI, environmental technological innovation and electricity and gas distribution. These signed or approved projects represent total Investment Plan for Europe investment in Spain of around EUR 3bn.