>@Alicja Chytla/BZ WBK
©Alicja Chytla/BZ WBK

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has entered into agreements with Santander Consumer Bank Poland (SCB) and Bank Zachodni WBK S.A. (BZ WBK) which are the first of their kind for the Polish securitisation and risk-sharing market. Both EIB financing operations present an innovative way of providing increased support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and midcaps in Poland and are guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), a central element of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe.  

The transaction with Santander Consumer Bank Poland is the first of its kind ever signed by the EIB as an investor in mezzanine asset-backed securities (ABS) in Europe. Under this operation the EIB is lending PLN 225m (around EUR 52m) to SCB. Eligibility under EFSI meant more risk-taking by the EIB, which has resulted in a higher amount of financing being provided by SCB for the benefit of SMEs and midcaps in Poland.

The operation with BZ WBK is ground-breaking as it is the first EIB risk-sharing transaction signed in Poland and one of the first risk-sharing transactions signed by the EIB anywhere in Europe under EFSI. The EIB provided a EUR 300m guarantee agreement to BZ WBK. In exchange, BZ WBK will create a new portfolio of loans to SMEs and midcaps. The risk-sharing financing provides an alternative to traditional global loans and is an effective way to incentivise new lending to small businesses.

EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák, responsible for Bank’s activity in Poland, said: “We are delighted to announce the two milestone operations with Santander Consumer Bank Poland and Bank Zachodni WBK today, as thanks to the innovative securitisation and risk-sharing financing, we will significantly enhance support for Polish small businesses. This new lending to SMEs and midcaps will support employment and economic growth in Poland, which is the main goal of the Investment Plan for Europe.”

Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Commissioner in charge of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: "The European Fund for Strategic Investments is working to facilitate access to finance for small businesses across Europe. With today's agreements, I am delighted that more and more small Polish businesses will have access to the financing solutions they need to grow, innovate and create jobs."

Arkadiusz Przybył, CEO Santander Consumer Bank Poland, commented: “The transaction performed with the European Investment Bank gives us a solid liquidity and capital base which will be used to support the SME sector. This will enable the Bank and leasing company Santander Consumer Multirent to provide Polish entrepreneurs with an attractive financing offer.”

Maciej Reluga, Member of Management Board in charge of Financial Management Division, added: “The European Investment Bank is a very important partner for us. Over six years we have signed ten agreements for a total value of EUR 820m. With these funds we have carried out a number of projects promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, a sector of key significance to the health of the entire economy. Our excellent cooperation also allows us to realise innovative ideas, which is evidenced by the present guarantee agreement. The fact that we are the first bank in Poland and one of the first banks in Europe to sign such an agreement is further evidence that our cooperation with the European Investment Bank is exemplary.”