The European Investment Fund (EIF), Banque Populaire and the Federation Nationale des SOCAMA (SOCAMA) have signed an agreement to support additional €1bn of loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France.
The loans will be provided as a result of a guarantee from EIF under the European Commission’s COSME programme. This transaction will also benefit from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
The COSME EFSI counter-guarantee agreement will allow SOCAMA to support additional loans and is expected to benefit 33,000 French SMEs over the next two years.
The EIF has previously successfully engaged with SOCAMA under the COSME’s predecessor programmes, benefiting more than 129,000 French SMEs.
Pierre Moscovici, commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs, said: “This latest agreement made possible by the Investment Plan for Europe will unlock €1bn in loans for tens of thousands of SMEs in France.
“Facilitating access to the finance that smaller businesses need to innovate and expand is a key component of the commission’s efforts to boost investment, employment and growth throughout Europe.”
EIF chief executive Pier Luigi Gilibert added: “Business creation and growth is often dependent on sufficient access to debt finance.
“I am delighted that this new agreement will build on our already successful cooperation and serve to benefit even more French SMEs”.
President of SOCAMA Daniel Goupillat said: “This agreement is good news for SOCAMA. It allows us to continue offering to small businesses, together with our partner Banque Populaire, financing for the creation, development and transfer of business. These loans require no personal guarantee or a reduced financial guarantee from the manager or his family.”