ICO extended loans worth a record €21.47 billion in 2014
The state-owned institute and banks have approved credit facilities for 2015 with a particular focus on the international sector.
The objective for this year has been reduced to €14,000 million due to the improvement in financing conditions.
Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) today signed cooperation protocols with 10 financial institutions for the extension of ICO Credit Facilities in 2015. The ceremony was attended by the Secretary of State for the Economy and Business Support, Íñigo Fernández de Mesa; the Chairwoman of ICO, Irene Garrido; and representatives of the ten financial institutions most active in the award of ICO loans in 2014: Banco Popular, Banco Santander, Banco Sabadell, BBVA, Bankia, CaixaBank , Bankinter, Ibercaja, Bantierra and Targobak.
ICO expects to lend EUR14 billion in 2015. With this financing volume ICO is tailoring its role in the credit market to the improving economic conditions in Spain. The state-owned bank fulfilled a key counter-cyclical role by providing financial support to SMEs at the height of the crisis. This role will now gradually be assumed by private financial institutions, which are more willing to provide credit now that market conditions are improving.
ICO will continue to provide funding to the Spanish business sector, with a particular focus on the financing of export sector activities and strengthening its contribution in the sphere of guarantees. There will also be a focus on private equity this year through the FOND-ICO Global project, whose aim is to step up non-bank financing of Spanish SMEs, increasing their capitalisation, facilitating their deleveraging and enhancing their competitiveness through the required diversification of their financing sources.
ICO extended EUR21.47 billion in financing in 2014, up 55% year-on-year and the highest amount distributed over the history of the ICO Financing Facilities programme. These loans financed almost 300,000 investment projects for self-employed professionals and SMEs. Especially striking was the significant reach of ICO Facilities: 51% of transactions were for less than €25,000 and 62% of loans were awarded to microenterprises with fewer than 10 employees. International financing activity accounted for 25% of total demand for ICO facilities in 2014, which means that the state-owned bank fulfilled its objective of funding the exports and international expansion of Spanish companies.