Import and export focused companies across Greece will benefit from a new EUR 134 million trade finance partnership between the European Investment Bank and HSBC announced in Athens earlier today. This will strengthen trade and export finance services provided by participating Greek banks to local companies and addresses a key market gap that continues to restrict international business by Greek companies.

HSBC was also a partner in the EIB’s Trade Finance Facility developed specially for Greece and successfully implemented since 2013. The expanded programme, implemented last year, is expected to support EUR 400 million of trade related working capital, as well as guarantees covering, political and payment risks.

Following today’s agreement companies across Greece will benefit from new trade financing provided locally by the National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank, and guaranteed by the EIB and HSBC, alongside Citibank and Commerzbank. Other leading Greek banks are expected to join the initiative in the coming months.

“Companies across the country have benefited from the EIB’s first Trade Finance Facility developed specifically for Greece. Building on the success of the first initiative over the last three years, I welcome the EIB’s recent launch of the second Trade Finance Initiative to support EUR 400 million of crucial financing for internationally active Greek companies. This financial instrument is the outcome of our very close ongoing cooperation with the EIB over the last three years that has brought more than 2.5 billion euros to the Greek economy in 2017 alone. The EUR 134 million backing confirmed today by HSBC demonstrates the clear commitment of international banks to expand engagement in Greece and the key role of the EIB.” said Alexis Charitsis, Alternate Minister of Economy of Development of the Hellenic Republic.”

“Export focused companies are an integral part of the Greek economy and expanded international trade is crucial for economic growth. Trade finance is essential for most international trade and the EIB is committed to working with international and Greek banking partners to overcome trade finance barriers. The new EUR 134 million partnership between HSBC and the EIB builds on the success of previous trade finance cooperation and ensure enhanced access of leading Greek companies to global markets. Today’s agreement will both improve access to trade finance by Greek companies and demonstrates the clear commitment of international and local banks to ensuring that Greek companies can expand business opportunities and create jobs.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with the EIB. This deal will enable more businesses to access growth markets around the world. Trade has a significant role to play in the Greek economic recovery and HSBC is pleased to be playing its part in supporting the growth aspirations of our clients.” said Eleni Vrettou, Managing Director, Head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC Greece.

The EUR 134 million trade finance was announced at the EIB Athens office by Eleni Vrettou, Managing Director, Head of Wholesale Banking  and Jonathan Taylor, Vice President of the European Investment Bank in the presence of Alexis Charitsis, Alternate Minister of Economy of Development of the Hellenic Republic and Steve Banner, Chief Executive Office of HSBC Greece.

HSBC provided the largest contribution of all commercial banks involved when the Trade Finance Facility was first launched five years ago. The original programme ensured successful support for trade finance transactions totalling EUR 389 million between 2013 and 2016. Enabling Greek companies to access trade finance has contributed to both increased investment and job creation.

More than 90% of trade transactions involve some form of credit, insurance or guarantee and companies seeking international tenders usually require financial guarantees. The EIB Trade Finance Facility has demonstrated significant support to enable Greek banks, best placed to understand local companies, enhance provision of trade finance services.

Companies seeking trade financing supported by the EIB Trade Finance Facility can contact one of the Greek banking partners directly.

Last year the European Investment Bank Group provided EUR 2.49 billion of new financing for public and private investment across Greece.