The social development bank in Europe

The CEB is committed to providing timely, flexible, and targeted financing to our member countries, both during the COVID-19 crisis and on the road to recovery.

iStock-1211156080-coronavirus-masks.jpgCEB's response: Timely

The CEB has always provided a swift response, helping member states to counter the knock-on effects of the global financial crisis or massive migrant and refugee flows. Now, as the coronavirus sweeps through countries, rapid and decisive action is more vital than ever.

Identifying needs

In this rapidly-evolving health emergency, the CEB is in constant dialogue with its member countries which have been severely impacted by the pandemic, identifying specific needs and taking appropriate action.Project teams spanning different areas of expertise have been working together to translate the borrowers’ needs into projects eligible for CEB financing and define the best financing solution. 

CEB to support its members in response to COVID-19 outbreak

Putting procedures on a fast-track

The Bank’s teams have been quick to implement mechanisms that will help to reduce the fallout from the pandemic on its borrowers.All requests for COVID-19 funding are being appraised once a week and then put to the Administrative Council for approval, which reaches its decisions through written procedures and on a monthly basis.

On 17 April, seven loans totalling almost €1.7 billion and, on 12 May, eight loans totalling close to €1.3 billion for projects responding to the COVID-19 pandemic were approved by fast-track procedure. Consistently, the Bank will also ensure the rapid disbursement and implementation of COVID-19 emergency projects.

CEB approves eight new Covid-19 response projects

CEB approves COVID-19 project loans

Raising funds  on capital markets

In April 2020 the CEB issued a €1 billion 7-year maturity COVID-19 Response Social Inclusion Bond, whose proceeds will provide further financial support for CEB member countries struggling with the crisis. 

CEB issues social inclusion bond in response to COVID-19 pandemic

iStock-931461960.jpgCEB's response: Flexible

Adapting financial instruments

In response to the challenges posed to Europe’s public health systems, the Bank has adapted its Public Finance Facility (PFF), a financing instrument aimed at national and sub-national public sector partners.

The PFF covers, among other, the expenditures for:

  •  the acquisition, under emergency procedures, of medical equipment and consumable
  • the rehabilitation and transformation of spaces, including medical units
  • general support for civil protection entities
  • the mobilisation of additional expertise

The PFF can also fund any relevant action in other sectors – such as social care and education – which aims to reduce the impact of the ongoing emergency, including on the most vulnerable groups. 

Facilitating access to finance

The Bank has introduced waivers on the proportion of the total cost of projects that can be financed from the CEB loan, and the possibility for the first disbursement tranche to exceed the usual ceiling of 50% of the total loan amount.

Under COVID-19 emergency financing for MSMEs, the Bank will also fund working capital needs, without the usual sub-loan limits, for 12 months following approval.  

A number of existing projects are also being restructured in terms of sectors and loan amounts to allow for their rapid redeployment as emergency support. 

Taking a long-term view

We seek to provide timely funding to help strengthen service delivery and business continuity during the COVID-19 emergency. The Bank also stands ready - and is preparing - to scale up financing as needed, promoting recovery and enhancing longer-term preparedness, risk management and resilience.

iStock-1211152463.jpgCEB's response: Targeted

Bolstering healthcare

The coronavirus pandemic is severely testing healthcare systems across Europe. The CEB is partially financing extraordinary expenditures designed to help healthcare systems cope with the pandemic as well as broader civil protection measures to protect the population.

These can include financing of extraordinary expenses for provision of medical services to Covid-19 affected persons, support to healthcare institutions and medical staff cope with the influx of patients or expenses to strengthen services provided in the residential and social services centres.

 Preserving jobs

The pandemic has hit small European businesses hard, prompting fears of massive job losses. The CEB is engaging with governments and national promotional banks so that they will continue to support MSMEs and municipal companies, helping to preserve jobs and support ongoing municipal investments. 

Key figures (May 2020)

  • €2.9 billion

    in loans approved to finance COVID-19 response measures

  • 14 countries

    benefit from CEB’s COVID19 financial support

  • €1 billion

    raised on capital markets with COVID-19 Response Social Inclusion Bond