If you're an SME looking to lease new vehicles or equipment, this new loan fund could be for you

SBCI will be offering €70m in Irish loans...

If you're an SME looking to lease new vehicles or equipment, this new loan fund could be for you

Picture by: Tim Goode / EMPICS Entertainment

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has joined forces with FEXCO Asset Finance to create a €70 million loan fund for Irish small and medium-sized businesses.

The funding package will offer SMEs a 1.57% discount on their loans and is intended for firms struggling to lease traditionally tough-to-finance assets such as plant machinery, specialist equipment and vehicles.

FEXCO's product offering currently covers 68 different asset types, including fixed equipment, plant and machinery, production lines, medical/dentistry and green energy. The leasing of cars and vans is also covered.

SBCI chief executive Nick Ashmore commented:

"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."

SBCI's collaboration with Kerry-based financial services company FEXCO – its eight such partner – means the corporation has now provided €906 million in lower-coast loans. In July it announced that it had facilitated over 8,600 loans since it was established in early 2015.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said:

"Today’s announcement is another example of the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to increase the availability of credit for SMEs and the provision of supplementary sources of finance."