State bank­ing unit SBCI’s fu­ture strat­egy to be guided by re­view

Irish Independent - Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - John Mul­li­gan

THE Na­tional Trea­sury Man­age­ment Agency (NTMA) is to un­der­take a re­view of the State’s Strate­gic Bank­ing Cor­po­ra­tion of Ire­land (SBCI) to help de­ter­mine its fu­ture strat­egy.

It comes just months af­ter the SBCI chair­man Conor O’Kelly, who is also chief ex­ec­u­tive of the NTMA, told Fi­nance Min­is­ter Paschal Dono­hoe that the pre­vail­ing low-in­ter­est en­vi­ron­ment had di­min­ished the SBCI’s fi­nan­cial ad­van­tage for banks.

The SBCI was es­tab­lished in 2014 to pro­vide SMEs with ac­cess to cheap fi­nance via the banks, as Ir­ish firms faced some of the high­est bor­row­ing costs in Europe.

The NTMA said that fol­low­ing en­gage­ment with the De­part­ment of Fi­nance, and as the fourth an­niver­sary of the SBCI has passed, “it is con­sid­ered timely and op­por­tune” to un­der­take a re­view of the SBCI.

“The pur­pose of the re­view is to in­form the SBCI’s fu­ture strat­egy and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment in a rapidly-chang­ing mar­ket and sup­port the SBCI as it con­tin­ues to as­sist Ir­ish busi­nesses in ac­cess­ing SME-friendly fi­nance,” said an SBCI spokesman.

The NTMA said the re­view will fo­cus on the SBCI’s func­tion “as a pol­icy-de­liv­ery


SBCI chair­man Conor O’Kelly told Fi­nance Min­is­ter Paschal Dono­hoe that low in­ter­est rates had re­duced its fi­nan­cial ad­van­tage mech­a­nism and na­tional pro­mo­tional fi­nance in­sti­tu­tion within the con­text of the Ir­ish State’s suite of sup­ports for SMEs and use of pro­mo­tional fi­nance”.

The SBCI launched its first prod­ucts in March 2015 and has de­liv­ered more than €1bn of SBCI-sup­ported lend­ing to more than 24,000 SMEs.

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