CEB Governor in Poland for meetings with government officials, signing of loan agreement to support MSMEs
1 June 2017
WARSAW - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Rolf Wenzel, has concluded his official visit to Poland, where he met with government officials and signed a loan agreement with BZ WBK Leasing to support Polish MSMEs.Today Governor Wenzel had an exchange of views with Konrad Szymański, Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, on the current and future cooperation between Poland and the CEB. The Governor expressed satisfaction with the progress of CEB operations in Poland in several areas and said that he looked forward to further strengthening the cooperation in future.The Governor also met with Leszek Skiba, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, with whom he discussed the prospects of expanding the already excellent cooperation between Poland and the Bank. Mr Wenzel underlined the importance attached by the CEB to supporting its members’ social policies in priority areas such as infrastructure development and MSME financing.
While in Warsaw, the Governor signed on behalf of the CEB a €100 million loan agreement with BZ WBK Leasing, subsidiary of Bank Zachodni WBK, to support Polish micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. The funds will be used to provide financing for MSME investment projects with a view to contributing to their development and boosting the creation and preservation of permanent and seasonal jobs. This loan follows a €50 million agreement signed with BZ WBK Leasing in 2015 and a €100 million loan extended to Bank Zachodni WBK in 2016.
Signing on behalf of BZ WBK Leasing - Bank Zachodni WBK were Michał Gajewski, CEO of Bank Zachodni WBK, Tomasz Jąder, Vice-President of BZ WBK Leasing, and Krzysztof Kowalewski, Chief Financial Officer of BZ WBK Leasing.
Following the signing ceremony, the Governor of the CEB said: “I am very pleased that the CEB and BZ WBK Leasing are joining forces to provide access to financing for small businesses in Poland. Support to MSMEs is one of the CEB’s priority areas, and we have had an excellent cooperation with Bank Zachodni WBK and BZ WBK Leasing in this area. At a time when unemployment rates remain high in many European countries, it is crucial to channel financing to MSMEs as a means of supporting job creation and preservation. This line of action is totally consistent with the CEB’s social mandate and we remain fully committed to continuing our work in this regard.”
Since becoming a CEB member in 1998, Poland has had close to €5 billion in financing approved by the Bank. The sectors which have benefited the most are the creation and preservation of viable jobs and the modernisation of urban and rural areas, including flood protection works. Social projects in the areas of health and the protection of the physical and cultural environment have also received CEB financing.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AA+ with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.