The volume of loans approved by UniCredit Bank for beneficiaries of non-reimbursable European funds surpassed the cumulated level of EUR 1 bln from the second half of 2009, when this activity started, to the end of 2015, according to a bank communiqué.
The volume of loans is given by the value of the facilities meant for the implementation of projects that used non-reimbursable public funding in the 2007-2013 financial framework, and of the facilities approved for the issuance of comfort letters. The activity of supporting the beneficiaries of non-reimbursable funds entails both a full range of loan products for each component of the investment project, as well as special pre- and post-implementation consultancy services and the rigorous monitoring (by the bank) of the investment project’s implementation phase. The bank claims that through this complex package of products and services it approved private co-financing for approximately 1,400 projects included in operational programmes for the private sector. The biggest share was registered by the industrial sector (40 per cent, the ‘Increase of Economic Competitiveness’ Sectoral Operational Programme), agricultural sector (35 per cent, National Rural Development Programme) and the projects included in the Regional Operational Programme (10 per cent). Bridge loans, whose reimbursement source were the sums collected from authorities, represented around 40 per cent of the volume of approved loans, registering individual values ranging from EUR 20,000 to EUR 20 M.
“Apart from the significance of the value, we are gladdened by the qualitative component of the portfolio of projects financed by UniCredit Bank. We covered the whole typology of eligible private and public beneficiaries – from large companies and SMEs, to local public authorities, NGOs, universities and research institutions – but also of eligible projects, from investments in tangible and non-tangible assets to programmes such as fisheries and cross-border cooperation. We financed sustainable projects capable of creating jobs, enhanced efficiency rates, added value for companies and communities – a strategy aligned to the bank’s approach of remaining alongside its clients over the long term, considering that the investment loans offered have maturities that range from three to seven years,” UniCreditBank European Funds Department Coordinator Valentin Boldeiu stated.
UniCredit Bank will continue to actively support companies that benefit from non-reimbursable funds during the 2014-2020 financial framework too, placing special emphasis on the segment of financial instruments financed from European funds. The bank is currently analysing new opportunities to take part, as financial broker, in guarantee schemes offered by the European Commission’s initiatives (Horizon 2020 – the European Union’s framework programme for research and innovation; COSME – the programme for the competitiveness of enterprises and SMEs; SME Initiative – the initiative for SMEs), with or without the earmarking of national budget funds, which will allow it to offer clients improved interest rates and guarantee terms and conditions.