ICO gathers the main European Financial Institutions for SME financing to discuss new ways of cooperation with EU bodies
Top management representatives from NEFI member institutions (Network of European Financial Institutions for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) hold their biannual meeting in Madrid
ICO has hosted in Madrid the biannual meeting of senior representatives from entities member of the Network of European Financial Institutions for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (NEFI). ICO has been a member of the Network since its creation in 1999.
The Network comprises the leading national financial institutions of the EU which share a public mission to facilitate the access to finance for SMEs by offering them financial services and expertise, acting complementarily to and in cooperation with their respective national banking systems.
The meeting served as a forum to discuss existing partnerships between NEFI members and EU institutions, and to explore new ways in which the current collaboration can be extended and reinforced. Participants at the meeting also included the Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Román Escolano, the Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF), Pier Luigi Gilibert, and the European Commission's Director for Finance, coordination with EIB group, EBRD and IFIs, Burkhard Schmidt.
NEFI is a network of the leading national financial institutions of the EU which share a public mission to support and improve access to finance for SMEs. They act complementarily to and in cooperation with the national banking systems of their respective countries. In 2013, the total balance sheets of all members added up to €649 billion. NEFI institutions financed over 416,000 SME projects with more than € 45,2 billion of financing mainly in the form of loans and guarantees.
NEFI members include: Austria Wirtschaftsservice (Austria), Bulgarian Development Bank (Bulgaria), Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (Croatia), Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (Czech Republic), Fund KredEx (Estonia), Finnvera (Finland), Bpifrance (France), KfW Bankengruppe (Germany), MFB Hungarian Development Bank Private Limited Company (Hungary), Latvian Development Financial Institution Altum (Latvia), Societe Nationale de Credit et d'Investissement (Luxembourg), Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (Poland), Slovak Guarantee and Development Bank (Slovakia), SID Bank (Slovenia), ICO (Spain), Almi Företagspartner (Sweden).
ICO is a State-owned bank attached to the Ministry of Economy and Competition through the Secretary of State for the Economy and Business Support, and is treated as a State Finance Agency. As a State-owned bank, ICO grants loans to finance investment operations and liquidity at companies both within Spain and abroad, either via financial entities through second-floor loans or by direct financing programmes. Also, as a State Finance Agency, ICO manages the Spanish Government's official financing instruments intended to promote exports and aid development