EIB And BBVA To Provide EUR 300m To Finance Innovation And Digitisation In Spanish SMEs
The two institutions have agreed a new credit line for public and private investments promoting climate action. BBVA and the EIB today signed two more agreements for the agricultural sector and SMEs, totalling EUR 250m.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and BBVA have joined forces to provide Spanish SMEs with the funding they need to implement their digitisation and innovation strategies. ElB Vice-President Román Escolano and Head of BBVA Spain Cristina de Parias signed an agreement today in Madrid through which the EIB will provide BBVA with EUR 150m to finance SME investment projects related to innovation and digitisation. BBVA will provide an additional EUR 150m of its own resources to fund this new credit line.
This is the first EIB operation in Spain that is entirely dedicated to promoting and financing innovation and digitisation in SMEs, including funding for initiatives that enable them to digitise their operations. By implementing the latest technologies, companies that access this funding will be able to optimise and modernise their processes and equipment, improving data management, their web portals or business marketing, for example. These investments will enable them to ensure their competitiveness, thereby helping to generate wealth and create jobs.
The agreement signed today makes BBVA the first bank in Spain to collaborate with the EIB on this new credit line. It will enable the financing of up to 100% of projects with costs no greater than EUR 12.5m for small businesses and EUR 25m for midcaps (up to 3 000 employees). The companies that access this credit line will have the opportunity to benefit from the EIB’s favourable conditions, both in terms of maturity and interest rates.
At the signing ceremony today in Madrid attended by both institutions, the EIB Vice-President pointed to “the EIB’s important work in helping to boost the Spanish economy by joining forces with the banks. This agreement is a clear demonstration of our priorities in Spain: to provide the necessary funding to ensure SMEs’ growth and competitiveness by supporting their investments in innovation and digitisation.”
According to Cristina de Parias, Head of BBVA Spain, this agreement “confirms the strength of the relationship between the EIB and BBVA,” showing once again that they are pioneers in innovative initiatives, such as the one signed today. She stressed that SMEs are key to the growth of the Spanish economy. “This agreement will promote digitisation, competitiveness, internationalisation and, as a result, the growth of these companies. At BBVA, we want to offer and create opportunities for our customers. Without a doubt, supporting SMEs on their road to modernisation reaffirms our purpose.”
Eco loans for climate action
The EIB and BBVA signed another agreement today to support investments that help combat climate change. Specifically, the EU bank will provide BBVA with a EUR 20m loan to finance projects to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy sources in order to lower polluting emissions and greenhouse gases. This is the first operation of its kind signed by the EIB in Spain, and is supported by the Spanish Office of Climate Change (OECC), an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment. Companies that apply for this type of eco loan can be from any industry, as long as they demonstrate that their investments will help improve the sustainability of production processes.
In addition to companies, public institutions can also apply for loans under this new EIB climate action credit line, as can owners’ associations and individuals. They can use this funding to save energy and use renewable energy sources in their buildings or homes.
Financing for the Spanish agricultural sector and SMEs
Lastly, the EIB and BBVA signed two additional loans today with the goal of facilitating SMEs’ investments. The first is for SMEs in the agricultural industry. They can benefit from the favourable terms of the dedicated EIB credit line for this sector, thanks to today’s EUR 50m loan to BBVA. Finally, the EIB also granted BBVA a EUR 200m loan to support the financing of Spanish SMEs.
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