The European Investment Bank (EIB) has partnered with HSBC to provide a wholesale facility for trade finance to Greece’s SMEs.
The €134m (£118m) package will be channelled to SMEs by the National Bank of Greece and Piraeus Bank. EIB, HSBC, Citibank and Commerzbank will provide credit guarantees. Other banks are expected to join the partnership in the coming months.
HSBC was also a partner in the EIB’s Trade Finance Facility programme, tailored to Greece’s SMEs and implemented since 2013. HSBC was the largest contributor among commercial bank.
The programme was expanded last year, and with the new facility, is now expected to provide a total €400m in working capital and guarantees for payment and political risks.
Alexis Charitsis, Greece’s alternate minister of economy of development, said: “Building on the success of the first initiative over the last three years, I welcome the EIB’s recent launch of the second Trade Finance Initiative to support €400m of crucial financing for internationally active Greek companies.
“This financial instrument is the outcome of our very close ongoing cooperation with the EIB over the last three years that has brought more than €2.5bn to the Greek economy in 2017 alone. The €134m backing confirmed today by HSBC demonstrates the clear commitment of international banks to expand engagement in Greece and the key role of the EIB.”
Jonathan Taylor, EIB vice-president, added: “Export-focused companies are an integral part of the Greek economy and expanded international trade is crucial for economic growth. Trade finance is essential for most international trade and the EIB is committed to working with international and Greek banking partners to overcome trade finance barriers.”
Eleni Vrettou, managing director and head of wholesale banking at HSBC Greece, added: “We are proud to continue our partnership with the EIB. This deal will enable more businesses to access growth markets around the world. Trade has a significant role to play in the Greek economic recovery and HSBC is pleased to be playing its part in supporting the growth aspirations of our clients.”