CEB signs €200 million loan with Poland’s Pekao Leasing to support small businesses
23 June 2022
Warsaw – Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), Carlo Monticelli, and President of the Management Board of Pekao Leasing, Krzysztof Zgorzelski, today signed a €200 million loan to support small businesses, secured by a guarantee of Bank Pekao S.A.
The loan will co-finance eligible investments undertaken by Polish micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through Pekao Leasing, such as the purchase of fixed assets and productive equipment necessary for their core business activities.
The aim of the loan is to contribute to the creation and preservation of permanent and seasonal jobs. The CEB financing will help end-beneficiary MSMEs undertake new investments, scale-up activity and remain competitive.
“We are very pleased to support small businesses and promote entrepreneurship in Poland with this loan,” said CEB Governor Monticelli. “Given the size of the Polish MSME sector, we expect that our financial assistance will contribute to the resilience of the country’s economy and will enhance overall growth and prosperity.”
The CEB loan will enable Pekao Leasing to better respond to the needs of borrowers. In addition, it is expected to promote female entrepreneurship, as 20 per cent of the CEB funds are earmarked for businesses led by women.
“The Pekao Group and the CEB have been successfully cooperating since 2015. This new loan agreement represents another proof of mutual trust and great relationship between our institutions,” noted Jerzy Kwieciński, Vice-President of Bank Pekao Management Board, responsible for the Corporate Banking Division. “In line with the CEB’s mandate and the terms of the loan, a significant part of the funding will support female-owned and female-led enterprises. The financed investments will also meet the objective of improving energy efficiency.”
Polish start-ups should also benefit from the loan. It is expected that the largest share of beneficiaries will be micro and small enterprises with less than 50 employees and €10 million in turnover or total assets.
For many MSMEs, leasing is often the only form of affordable, long-term investment finance they can access, especially given the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations and financing.
“The Pekao Group is consistently supporting Polish entrepreneurs. Providing micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises with the access to preferential source of funding is of key importance for their development and competitiveness, especially in the extremely difficult market conditions that companies in Poland and Europe are currently struggling with,” said Magdalena Zmitrowicz, Vice-President of Bank Pekao Management Board, responsible for the SME Division and Member of the Supervisory Board of Pekao Leasing.
The signed loan is the Bank’s fifth operation with Pekao Leasing. Since 2015, the CEB granted it four other loans totalling €400 million.
“Pekao Leasing has excellent long-term experience in working with international financial institutions. This is our fifth loan signed with the CEB. We focus on financing clients in MSME segments, mainly machinery and equipment. Considering the increase of industrial output, as well as the growth of financing volumes provided to Pekao Leasing’s clients in recent quarters, we are convinced that in financing Polish entrepreneurs, the CEB funds are pointing towards good business development. They will support investments aimed at creating and preserving jobs and will contribute to a reduction in emissions and energy consumption,” said Krzysztof Zgorzelski, President of the Management Board of Pekao Leasing.
Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 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, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive and AAA* with Scope 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.