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  • The European Investment Bank Group reinforces its partnership with Rabobank to support sustainable entrepreneurs with loans under favourable conditions.
  • With two transactions, one for “impact loans” and one for - among other purposes - COVID relief, over €1 billion in new lending becomes available to Dutch entrepreneurs.
  • Part of the financing is the seventh transaction under the heading “impact loans”, which have so far supported over 600 Dutch small businesses and more than 20 different sectors for a total of €1.1 billion in lending.

Rabobank and the European Investment Bank Group have strengthened their longstanding partnership by making available over €1 billion in new, favourable lending for Dutch small businesses and mid-caps. This comes in the form of two recently signed facilities — one for sustainable entrepreneurs, the so-called impact loans, and one intended for COVID relief, among others.

Impact loans are available to entrepreneurs and small businesses that hold one of the selected sustainability labels, certifying their commitment and effort towards making their businesses socially and environmentally sustainable. Under the seventh iteration of the impact loans, the EIB will lend €300 million to Rabobank, which will match this, making a total of €600 million that will be issued in new lending for sustainability-conscious entrepreneurs.

Through a separate credit risk sharing transaction with the EIB’s subsidiary, the European Investment Fund, Rabobank will make available a further €445 million for businesses looking to grow their way out of the difficult conditions caused by, among others, the COVID pandemic. The EIF will guarantee a junior tranche on a portfolio of SME loans held by Rabobank, and is in turn counter-guaranteed under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), effectively freeing up part of Rabobank’s capital. This is the second capital relief transaction entered into between the EIB Group and Rabobank since 2018.

Kirsten Konst, Director of Business Clients and member of the Managing Board, said: “We are committed to making a difference as a cooperative bank, and contributing to a more sustainable world is important to Rabobank. Our focus is on continually improving the understanding of our clients’ needs and their challenges. These transactions enable us to support our clients in achieving their goals. Rabobank is therefore proud to continue its partnership with the EIB and the EIF.”

“Rabobank has been a close partner of the EIB Group since 2009,” said EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters. “Now that the stakes are higher than ever for the EU economy, we are glad to be able to partner with them again to make funding available for businesses, especially in support of socially and environmentally sustainable investments. Small businesses remain the backbone of our economies and they need all the support they can get.”

“Our longstanding partnership with Rabobank supports the EIF’s mission to make sure appropriate financing is available for European small businesses,” added EIF Chief Executive Marjut Falkstedt. “I am glad that, together with the EIB, we are able to make available such an important amount of financing in the Netherlands, all the more since a large portion of it targets sustainable businesses, in line with our climate commitments.”

Impact loans are available to entrepreneurs who are frontrunners in their sector, are demonstrably engaged in corporate social responsibility and hold one of the selected sustainability labels. Applications for an impact loan must meet the normal conditions of the EIB and Rabobank. Impact loans are available for businesses with up to 3 000 employees. The total investment may not exceed €25 million and the loan principal is capped at €7.5 million. The final loan approval decision rests with Rabobank.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) issues long-term loans on behalf of the European Union. The Bank is owned directly by the EU Member States — the Netherlands owns 5.2% of its shares — and is therefore able to make extremely cheap loans available on the capital market. This enables the EIB to provide long-term financing for solid investments that contribute to the European Union’s policy goals. The EIB made available slightly over €2 billion in loans for projects in the Netherlands in 2021.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, the EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles. It offers retail banking, wholesale banking, private banking, leasing and real estate services. As a cooperative bank, Rabobank puts customers’ interests first in its services. Rabobank is committed to being a leading customer-focused cooperative bank in the Netherlands and a leading food and agri bank worldwide. Rabobank employed 45,415 FTE per 30 June 2022. Rabobank Group is active in 38 countries.