Ulster Bank approved by SBCI to offer low-cost loans

Lender is to distribute some €75m in loans to small and medium-sized companies

Ulster Bank is the fifth lender to win approval from the State-backed Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to offer low-cost financing to SMEs.

The bank is to distribute some €75 million in funding to companies that will be at least 1 per cent lower than existing loan rates offered by the lender.

The SBCI was established to provide at least €800 million in low-cost financing to SMEs from funds sourced by the European Investment Bank, German bank KfW and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).

With the latest announcement the organisation has now made a total of €750 million in low-cost, long-term loans available from lenders, which also include AIB, Bank of Ireland, Finance Ireland and Merrion Fleet.


SBCI said in September that in its first seven months of operation, some 3,200 Irish SMEs had drawn-down close to €110 million in funding.

To avail of the low-cost loans, companies must be independent enterprises employing fewer than 250 persons and with an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million and/or an annual balance sheet under €43 million.

SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore said there was a strong appetite for loans from Irish firms.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist