Spain: CEB and MicroBank support entrepreneurship and social cohesion through microfinance
7 November 2019
Barcelona - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and MicroBank, the social bank of the CaixaBank Group, signed on 4 November a new €100 million loan agreement aimed at providing financing to microenterprises, the self-employed and families with limited incomes.
The loan agreement was signed by President of MicroBank, Juan Carlos Gallego González, and CEB Vice-Governor for Social Development Strategy, Rosa María Sánchez-Yebra Alonso. CaixaBank was represented by Juan Antonio Alcaraz Garcia, Chief Business Officer.
Supporting social cohesion and financial inclusion
Microenterprises play an important role in the Spanish economy as they account for 41% of overall employment in the non-financial business economy. For these entrepreneurs access to finance is essential for setting up or expanding their business.
The CEB loan to MicroBank aims to support job creation and to enhance social cohesion in Spain by facilitating access to financial resources for small businesses, microbusinesses and vulnerable groups. The microloans will help start-up or expand existing businesses, but they can also be used to meet the financial needs of immigrants or families in precarious situations.
On the occasion of the signing of the loan agreement, Juan Carlos Gallego, President of MicroBank, said: "Our institution's mission is to promote financial inclusion and microcredits are a useful tool to achieve this. Thanks to the support of institutions such as the CEB, we can promote equal access to credit for those people and micro-enterprises that need it most, contributing to the coverage of their needs and the improvement of their quality of life.”
Rosa María Sánchez-Yebra Alonso, CEB Vice-Governor, said: “This loan to Microbank represents the essence of the CEB and contributes to enhancing its distinctive social mission among international financial institutions. The CEB works to bolster sustainable and inclusive growth focusing on the needs of the most disadvantaged groups; reduce socioeconomic inequalities as well as support integration of refugees, displaced persons and migrants. Microcredit loans are a powerful tool to achieve these goals so that we can only expect to strengthen our cooperation with MicroBank.”
Long-term collaboration between CEB and MicroBank
MicroBank, the bank specialising in microfinance wholly owned by CaixaBank, is the only bank in Spain dedicated to financing projects through microfinance.
The CEB has been supporting MicroBank since its founding in 2008 through five loan operations totaling €380 million. The new funds from the CEB will allow MicroBank to continue applying particularly competitive conditions adapted to the needs of its clients.In the last year only, MicroBank granted a total of 116,789 loans amounting to €772.8 million and has contributed to the direct creation of more than 25 000 jobs.
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 (AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and Aa1 with Moody's, 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.