Guide

Bank finance

European Investment Bank funding for small and medium-sized businesses

A number of UK high street banks have secured financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to provide lower-cost long-term loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). If you run a business with 250 employees or fewer you are eligible to apply. However, you cannot apply if you operate in sectors such as the arms trade, gambling or tobacco.

The key benefit of an EIB-funded loan is that it may provide cheaper credit. This is passed on to your business either directly through a reduced loan cost or via cash back. The only restriction is that the loan must be for a minimum of two years and the loans cannot be for short-term working capital needs.

How to access an EIB-financed loan

EIB finance is not packaged as an 'EIB loan' by the banks. To access an EIB-financed loan you should apply directly to one of the participating banks. If you ask about EIB finance in a branch of one of the participating banks, you will probably be referred to a relationship manager since the size of the loan will usually be higher than normally dealt with at branch level.

Applicants for this type of loan will be subject to each bank's own lending criteria, credit assessments, and terms and conditions, which may vary.

There are several banks offering EIB-financed loans in the UK - search for a list of financial institutions offering EIB loans in the UK.