Fabian Demicoli

GRTU welcomes new scheme facilitating Access to Finance for SMEs – Calls for the full cooperation of banks to offer real benefits and advantages through the SME Initiative

GRTU welcomes the announcement made earlier today by the Hon Ian Borg that around 845 SMEs will be benefitting from a new scheme that facilitates access to finance. GRTU understands this will be similar to the previous JEREMIE scheme, which was indeed very successful and popular with the smaller businesses, however this time under the new SME Initiative.

The JEREMIE scheme, GRTU believes, was successful mainly due to the additional advantages it offered, primarily more advantageous interest rates and collateral requirements. GRTU feels that these advantages should be even more pronounced this time round as they should reflect the ever increasing efforts of the European Central Bank with rock bottom interest rates and other advantageous conditions that prioritise lending, for increased investment and job creation.

Another positive element in the new scheme is that it will be offered by a number of banks, or at least those that choose to go for it. GRTU had highlighted the fact that JEREMIE was offered by only by one bank as a limitation, not because the bank acting as a financial intermediary did not deliver, but because SMEs should be free to do business with the bank of

their choice. This is also very healthy and GRTU looks forward to seeing most local banks not only sign up, to offer this renewed facility to their clients, but also competing between themselves by offering the most advantageous conditions.

GRTU thanks the Hon Ian Borg for addressing this limitation and we augur that this effort will result in real benefits for SMEs, equal to those that SMEs in other EU countries benefit from when it comes to access to finance.

 

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