New €70m leasing finance fund launched for SMEs

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland joins forces with Fexco to offer lower cost leasing finance

Irish small and medium-sized businesses will be able to borrow at a lower cost for specialist equipment and vehicles thanks to the creation of a new €70 million loan fund.

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has come together with Kerry-based financial services company Fexco Asset Finance to create a new €70 million funding package which will offer SMEs a 1.57 per cent discount on their loans.

SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore said the new product offering would cover in particular, asset types "which have traditionally been more difficult for businesses to finance such as fixed equipment and plant machinery".

“It has been a busy and exciting year for SBCI with the addition of four new lenders. Looking ahead to 2017, we will continue to play our part in supporting growth in Irish businesses through the management of the Credit Guarantee Scheme, launching the new Agri Cash Flow Support loan for farmers, and driving awareness of our lower cost finance,” Mr Ashmore said.


Eight institutions

Fexco is the SBCI’s eighth lending partner, and SBCI has now committed €906 million in lower-cost loans through eight institutions including five non-banks.

During this year SBCI has provided funding to four new lenders, Ulster Bank, First Citizen, Bibby Financial Services and FEXCO, and in July announced it had facilitated more than 8,600 loans since being established in early 2015.

SBCI lenders offer lower-cost loans across a range of products including working capital, investment, agri-finance, invoice finance, fleet finance and leasing.

On average SMEs receive a discount of 1.5 per cent on market rates for these loans.

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan

Fiona Reddan is a writer specialising in personal finance and is the Home & Design Editor of The Irish Times