Fine Gael TD for Kildare South Martin Heydon has welcomed the passing of legislation to create the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) which will make available additional credit to Irish SMEs. Its establishment will facilitate access to national and international sources of funding and then to distribute this to existing and new providers of credit to SMEs in Ireland.

“This is a very significant development in the history of the State. I have constantly called for additional supports and funding streams for SMEs, who are at the coalface of job creation. I am delighted with the progress which will see the bank created to utilise best practice from proven models internationally. Furthermore, the fact that this new bank will be regulated by the Comptroller and Auditor General and answerable to the Department of Finance and the Public Accounts Committee is very welcome.

“The creation of the SBCI is another step forward by the Government in its plans to inject funding into SME sector which is the lifeblood of the Irish economy. The SBCI, in conjunction with our existing banks and new credit providers should serve to continue and enhance economic recovery in Ireland and Kildare.

“A key benefit of the SBCI will be its ability to facilitate loans with initial capital repayment breaks or the offering of loans with longer durations than are typically available currently. SMEs therefore would have greater capacity to make investments on the basis of improved cash flow, which should encourage growth. I look forward to seeing the Bank facilitating loans to the SME sector by the end of the year once enacted.

“The Strategic Banking Corporation (SBCI) of Ireland will be initially financed by German State Bank KfW, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the directed portfolio of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). The announcement also feeds directly into the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs target to create 100,000 new jobs by 2016.

Now that enabling legislation has been passed, it is intended that the SBCI can be formed over the summer and be in a position to facilitate loans to SME’s by the end of the year.