The agreement forms part of the EU bank’s programme for the modernisation of Spanish banking sector’s digital platforms
The EIB Group and CaixaBank have also agreed to provide EUR 600m for new projects of Spanish SMEs and mid-caps
EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and CaixaBank’s CEO Gonzalo Gortázar have signed an agreement in Barcelona, under which the European Investment Bank (EIB), in keeping with its commitment to promote digitalisation, will support CaixaBank’s innovation strategy and finance the implementation of various investments to transform and digitalise the institution’s IT infrastructure with new technologies for modernising customer access to information and improving transaction security. These investments agreed between the two partners will amount to EUR 70m.
CaixaBank's innovation strategy, covering the period up to 2020, will focus on strengthening the security of the services it offers with cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain and facial recognition, and on improving its range of digital products for its customers.
The wide range of measures to be launched by the Spanish bank under this programme include, in particular, the implementation and improvement of systems for payment via mobile phones, and the research and development of new encryption technologies for credit card operations.
At the signing ceremony in Barcelona, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro said: “The digital era in which we are living is forcing European banks to innovate with respect to both their products and their information management processes. It is a vital step in maintaining competitiveness. This agreement will enable the EIB to help CaixaBank accelerate its digitalisation and improve its services to customers, thereby contributing to the development of a state-of-the-art financial system in Spain.”
Gonzalo Gortázar welcomed the agreement with the EIB, pointing out: “It will enable CaixaBank to dedicate resources to its technological and digital transformation for the benefit of our customers and the Spanish financial sector”. The CEO of CaixaBank went on to confirm: “A clear objective to promote technology with high value-added services in the interest of our customers and employees as well as to reinforce our socially responsible banking model has already been set out in our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan.”
The EIB is providing this loan as part of its programme to modernise digital banking platforms. Under this initiative, up to EUR 300m is available for direct loans to Spanish banks that are investing in innovation with a view to boosting their competitiveness and contributing to the establishment of a single market for financial services in the EU.
First securitisation operation by the EIB Group and CaixaBank
In addition to this agreement for promoting innovation, the EIB and the European Investment Fund (EIF, part of the EIB Group) has provided CaixaBank with a EUR 100m guarantee for an existing loan portfolio which will enable CaixaBank to mobilise up to EUR 600m of additional financing for Spanish SMEs and mid-caps. This is the first guarantee for a mezzanine tranche of a SME loan securitisation operation, in which the EIB, the EIF and CaixaBank are participating together in Spain.
The agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). EFSI is the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the “Juncker Plan”, and will make more resources available to CaixaBank for providing loans to SMEs.
The EIB Group, which includes the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF), has signed an agreement with CaixaBank providing a guarantee of €112.5 million to the Spanish financial institution. The transaction covers the first loss piece in a synthetic securitisation structure within the framework of the Pan-European Guarantee Fund (EGF). This initiative managed by the EIB Group is part of the European Union’s €540 billion global COVID-19 response package to support the European economy and, in particular, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps affected by the pandemic.
The 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 EIB and CaixaBank are taking another step forward to help finance climate action-focused projects together. Via the EIB's climate action programme, this partnership has enabled CaixaBank to launch a new credit line of up to EUR 30m to promote projects helping to combat climate change. For the first time, CaixaBank is allocating some of these EIB funds to financing the projects of individuals.