With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for local and regional banking providers.
Whether you are a business owner, want to start one, or a financial intermediary, you have access to EU funds. The European Investment Bank provides credit lines to finance providers such as local banks and financial institutions, helping them develop their lending portfolio and offer greater access to credit to a wider range of clients. This support helps finance the medium and long-term loans offered to private sector firms, commercially run public-sector enterprises or even local authorities. The Bank invests €75 billion in over 400 projects in a typical year. While such loans must meet some conditions (e.g. increase local growth and employment or help protect the environment), they offer benefits such as long time-to-maturity and attractive pricing. The finance providers can also make use of the technical assistance offered both to the intermediaries and the final recipients.
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In addition, EU microfinance support tools help microfinance providers (e.g. private or public banks, non-bank microfinance institutions and not-for-profit microcredit providers) to offer loans up to €25 000 for setting up or developing a small business. EU support includes not only loans but also guarantees, which help share the providers’ potential risk of loss. Microloan conditions for entrepreneurs vary depending on the provider, but the EU makes sure that priority goes to groups which have difficulty getting conventional credit, e.g. social enterprises and the unemployed. In addition, technical support is available for microcredit providers to help them build capacity.
- EPRS Publication on ‘Helping European SMEs to grow’, 2017, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2017/603967/EPRS_IDA(2017)603967_EN.pdf
- EPRS Publication on ‘SME support in EU regions’, 2015, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2015/564360/EPRS_BRI%282015%29564360_EN.pdf
- European Investment Bank, http://www.eib.org/intermediarieslist/search
- EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service: www.epthinktank.eu