Nordea and EIB Group to offer new support for green SMEs in the Nordics
15 September 2021
Nordea has signed, as a first of its kind in the region, an agreement with the EIB Group to support the sustainable transformation of businesses in the Nordics.
The EIB Group will guarantee a portfolio of €1.8 billion of Nordea lending, freeing up capital for new attractive lending in green investments in Sweden and Finland.
The project is supported by the European Commission under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), part of the Investment Plan for Europe.
Nordea has signed a guarantee agreement with the EIB Group, consisting of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF). Under the agreement, European support will guarantee a portfolio of Nordea lending up to €1.8 billion, freeing up capital for new loans for sustainable initiatives of Swedish and Finnish companies. The green loans will be offered to eligible SME’s and include offering reduced margins for eligible projects. The initiative is backed by the European Union’s Investment Plan for Europe, which is aimed at encouraging sustainable, long-term economic growth in Europe.
“We are proud to take part in implementation of the European initiative and to contribute by helping SME’s sustainability transformation with green loans and advice– ultimately achieving lasting reductions of CO2 emissions,” said Aleksi Lehtonen, head of Nordea Business Banking in Finland and Peter Dalmalm, head of Nordea Business Banking in Sweden.
As part of the agreement with the EIB Group, which is owned by the EU Member States, Nordea has committed to extend funding at attractive terms to eligible green projects. This gives Nordea the opportunity to provide SME customers in Finland and Sweden lower than usual rates to fund investments that meet well-defined sustainability criteria.
“This project is a good example of how European financing can have a real and direct effect on the economy, while also giving an incentive for green investments,” said EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros. “The EIB Group has been very active in the region to support businesses who were dealing with COVID-19 related challenges, but it is clear to us that the challenge posed by climate change is a far bigger one. We’re happy to once again partner with Nordea to support businesses on the way towards the future.”
“The EIB Group is very pleased to have successfully completed its first securitization transaction with Nordea and to provide green financing to SMEs and mid-caps. This transaction is boosting the supply of finance in the real economy during these difficult times and promoting an economic recovery based on a sustainable green transformation,” added EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard.
Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “Today’s agreement between the EIB Group and Nordea will make available new and attractive loans to Finnish and Swedish SMEs looking to finance sustainable projects. I welcome this significant support for green investments, which at the same time boost our recovery and contribute to reaching our climate goals. The Investment Plan for Europe continues to deliver.”
Nordea has committed to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce CO2 emissions from its lending portfolio by 40-50 percent by 2030.
“Certainly, this agreement will support us in meeting our sustainability targets. At the same time, we can introduce an sustainability offering tailored the SME’s, who are becoming increasingly interested in sustainable finance,” added Aleksi Lehtonen, head of Nordea Business Banking in Finland and Peter Dalmalm, head of Nordea Business Banking in Sweden.
During the third quarter of 2021, Nordea will be ready to offer its customers advice about the new lending offering and will start issuing the new sustainable, guaranteed loans. Last March, Nordea already signed an agreement with the EIF to support SMEs in Sweden, Finland and Denmark with attractive lending, to manage companies facing temporary COVID-19 circumstances and/or to accelerate their growth – with the aim to support growth and employment in the Nordics.
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