The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed a guarantee agreement with Erste Bank der österreichischen Sparkassen AG within the framework of the Growth and Environment Schemein Austria. The bank and the EIF have agreed to share the risk of loans extended by the bank and the savings banks to small and medium-sized companies at preferential financial conditions for a total volume of E20m.
Smaller companies with up to 100 employees receive loans at beneficial conditions for environmentally-friendly investments, i.e. investments that produce significant environmental benefits (even if the environment is not the main aim) or that are carried out by companies active in the eco-industry.
Financial institutions participating in the scheme offer better financing terms due to a free-of-charge guarantee from the EIF, through sponsorship of the European Union.
The EIF has so far entered into guarantee agreements with 36 financial institutions in all 15 member States of the European Union, corresponding to a total loan volume of approximately E1.4 billion. A similar guarantee agreement was signed with Roskilde under the Scheme in Denmark last month.